The UFC is headed to Columbus this Saturday in an exciting card that will be headlined by Heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus. On the prelims, two exciting bantamweights will square off as former title challenger Sara McMann battles Karol Rosa. I had the chance to interview Rosa as she prepares for her fight and here were her responses.
Karol Rosa (15-3 overall, 4-0 in the UFC) is coming off the best year if her career after beating Joselyne Edwards and Bethe Correia in 2021. Undefeated at 4-0 since joining the UFC, Rosa is getting a big step up in competition on Saturday against Sara McMann. A well-rounded fighter with an underrated ground game, Rosa is looking to crack the top of the women’s bantamweight division on Saturday.
Sara McMann (12-6 overall, 6-6 in the UFC) makes her return on Saturday following a 14 month layoff after her loss to Julianna Pena at UFC 257. A woman who has been around since the beginning of the women’s bantamweight division, McMann has fought every champion the division has seen besides Holly Holm. However, she’s 1-3 in her last four fights and at age 41, it’s unclear how much longer she will fight. Regardless, she will be looking to get back on track against Rosa on Saturday.
Interview with Karol Rosa:
Danny Podolsky: First and foremost, how did this fight with Sara McMann come together?
Karol Rosa: The fight with Sara was already scheduled a few months ago. I was very happy when this fight came and the time I had to prepare myself because I know that Sara is an experienced woman and it will be a great fight.
Podolsky: What gives you the advantage over Sara McMann heading into this fight?
Rosa: I think I’m more complete than Sara. I have a very good Muay Thai and my ground game is superior so I think that sets me apart from her.
Podolsky: You’re 4-0 in the UFC and this is your first fight against an opponent ranked higher than you. Are you excited to finally get a chance to move up the rankings?
Rosa: Yes, I’m very excited. Sara is in 9th place and I am in 12th. If I beat her on Saturday that will put me in the top ten in my division and get me a bit closer to the belt.
Podolsky: You have won 4 fights in the UFC, all by decisions. Are you hoping to get a finish in this fight and of those 4 wins, which opponent was the toughest for you?
Rosa: I hope in this fight I will get the win by knockout. My first fight in the UFC with Lara Procopio I think was the hardest because it was my debut and there’s always that nervous feeling. My opponent ended up surprising me a little and it made that fight more difficult.
Podolsky: This will be your first fight in front of fans since 2019. Are you excited to compete in front of the crowd or did you prefer fighting at the UFC Apex?
Rosa: I’m excited about the audience, because it just gives me that additional adrenaline rush during my performance that will help me succeed.
Podolsky: If you win this fight with Sara McMann, are you hoping to get a fight in the top five next?
Rosa: Yes, I hope to fight with some top 5 and by the end of the year. Winning these fights will get me closer to fighting for the belt which is the ultimate goal for me.
Podolsky: How active would you like to be in 2022 and can we expect to see you three times if you’re healthy?
Rosa: I would like to do 3 fights this year. At the middle of the year I would like to have a fight and then a third fight by the end of 2022.
Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images