Jake Rosholt could very well be the future of the middleweight division but only a year and a half into his mixed martial arts career he’s good with taking things one fight at a time. There are a whole lot of people that are expecting really big things out of the 26-year old Oklahoma native and it’s easy to see why.
Rosholt is arguably one of the most accomplished collegiate wrestlers to have ever made the transition over to mixed martial arts. In high school, Rosholt, won three state titles for the Sandpoint High School Bulldogs and went on to become the 189-pound high school national champion in 2001.
Upon graduation, Rosholt went on to wrestle for Oklahoma State University where the success would continue. At OSU, Rosholt became one of the most decorated wrestler’s in the school’s history, going on to win the 184-pound NCAA Division I wrestling title in 2003 and the 197-pound title in 2005 and 2006. The young standout was also a Big 12 Conference champion in 2004 and would complete his collegiate career as a four-time NCAA All-American.
After college, Rosholt joined Ted Ehrhardt’s Team Takedown and made the trip down to Las Vegas to begin his MMA training with one of the best fight camps in the world at Xtreme Couture. After five pro bouts, the three-time NCAA champ is undefeated, with all of his victories ending inside the distance.
Rosholt represents the latest in a growing list of successful collegiate wrestlers such as Josh Koscheck, Matt Hamill, Rashad Evans, Jon Fitch, and Gray Maynard that has gone on to become successful MMA fighters.
Making his Zuffa debut at WEC 36 vs. Nissen Osterneck, Rosholt showed a strong chin after getting rocked numerous times while still managing to turn the tables and win the fight by TKO at the 3:48 mark of round 2.
Many questions were answered during the Osterneck fight but some still remain, most notably whether Rosholt’s striking is polished enough to allow him to make a successful transition from the WEC’s 185 lbs. division to the UFC’s. Critics were quick to pan Rosholt’s striking display at WEC 36 but conveniently overlooked the fact that Rosholt hasn’t even been training MMA for two full years.
But Rosholt is not making any excuses. During a recent interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com, the for OSU Cowboy acknowledged his striking was an aspect of his game that could stand to improve.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: Thanks for taking this time with us Jake and congratulations on your big win over Nissen Osterneck at WEC 36. Did the fight go down the way you thought it would?
Jake Rosholt: Not at all. I really wasn’t expecting Osterneck to have such good stand up. I was wanting to use some of my stand up and try to get more comfortable there. I went out there and I was getting beat up pretty good on my feet but I feel like I was able to dominate the ground game whenever I was able to take it there. When the fight was standing he was taking it to me so I was not doing a very good job on my feet.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: Have you had a chance to watch the fight and what are your thoughts on your performance?
Jake Rosholt: The main thing I can take away from it is that it was a pretty gutsy performance. I got hit pretty hard several times and it just reiterates that I have to go back and keep working on my stand up and get comfortable so I can go out there and be comfortable in the ring. I just feel I need some more experience and I need to keep working on that part of my fight game.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: There was one moment in the fight it looked as if Osterneck had wobbled you just a little. How hurt were you?
Jake Rosholt: I definitely took a couple good shots that caught me on the temple and left me a little bit dazed. There was a couple times in the fight that I was definitely seeing some stars out there.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: Would you credit being able to bounce back and recover so quickly to anything?
Jake Rosholt: I don’t know if I can credit it to anything. I’ve been hit a few times in sparring where I was seeing some stars but it’s definitely different when you get out there and you have those little five ounce gloves on and your blocking punches with your face instead of your hands.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: You have amazing wrestling credentials. Some of the best MMA has ever seen. How difficult of a transition into MMA has it been for you?
Jake Rosholt: It’s been pretty good. I pick up on stuff pretty easy and I like to learn technique and things like that but for sure the stand up and boxing has been the hardest for me. That’s easy to tell in my fights when I get out there it’s pretty easy to tell that I’m not that comfortable on my feet yet but it will get there. It’s just going to take some time. I just started fighting a year and a half ago so I’m still really young and really green in the sport.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: Can you tell me a little bit about the team you train with and some of the guys you were training with for Osterneck?
Jake Rosholt: I do a lot of my training down at Cobra Kai with a bunch of people down there and then I do most of my stand up and sparring at Xtreme Couture. I’m in the gym every day with some of the best fighters in the world so I’m very privileged in that way. I think that that’s more than anything why it’s so frustrating looking back on the fight and getting beat up so bad on my feet. I feel like I’m such a better fighter than that and it just didn’t show at all.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: So what’s next for you. Are you expecting your next fight to be with the UFC?
Jake Rosholt: You know I don’t know. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks I’ll know but I’ll just kind of wait and see.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: What do you think about UFC’s middleweight division. Is that a jump that you are welcoming with open arms?
Jake Rosholt: I’m definitely ready but I just want to get the right fights. I just don’t want to get over my head before I’m ready but I’m ready to fight there. If they’re ready for me and they want me then that’s where I’ll be. There’s really no other place I’d want to fight. I definitely think there’s lots of people in the UFC for me to fight and progress along the way.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: How long do you see yourself competing in mixed martial arts?
Jake Rosholt: I’ll be doing it as long as I can keep being successful and my body will hold up. I’m 26 years old right now and I have a lot of learning and growing to do. I have potential to be a lot better and I have many years ahead of me.
Fiveouncesofpain.com: Hey Jake, thanks so much for your time. Are there any sponsors you would like to thank before I let you go?
Jake Rosholt: Ecko, MMA Warehouse, Tapout, Hitman and Primos Hunting Calls.