Heavyweight Jared Rosholt will make his UFC debut against Walter Harris at The Ultimate Fighter Finale in Las Vegas. Rosholt is a 3 time NCAA Division 1 All American and is currently has the most wins of all heavyweight Oklahoma State university history. Once his brother Jake Rosholt began fighting and made it into the UFC, he made the commitment to do it as well. Rosholt has only been fighting for 2 years, but once he started taking fights he never said no to an opportunity. In fact, Rosholt took his first fight in February of 2011 and before the first week of June was over he was already 4-0. The last three of those fights took place on consecutive weekends.
Fighters.com lead writer John Petit spoke with the Rosholt ahead of fight week. Rosholt spoke about about his path into MMA, applying his wrestling in the cage, and he talked a little about how he thought his team mate Johny Hendricks won his title fight against current UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre.
On his opponent Walter Harris at The Ultimate Fighter Finale:
I wouldn’t say the plan is to take him into deep waters, but I noticed his record to. If he doesn’t get the win early in the fight he seems to fade. If I see any opening at any time I will take it, but I need to fight smart and stay smart. This will be my fifth fight this year and two of them were against guys I think that are better than Harris and they went the distance. So I know I can perform well late in the fight. I’m comfortable if it goes late in the fight.
On Harris not fighting in over a year and a half:
It can be a plus or a minus. On the one hand, I think ring rust is a real thing. It has to play on your mind a little bit. On the other hand, who knows how much better he has gotten since fighting last. Obviously I’d like to look at tape of his most recent fights, but he doesn’t have any. All I can do is be prepared for the fight, and I am prepared for this fight.
Rosholt’s first MMA Fight:
The road into MMA:
The first time I saw a UFC fight it was just at some random bar or something. Once my brother Jake started doing it I began to follow it pretty closely. I developed a lot of interest in it pretty quick and was really entertained by it, and I was picking it up pretty quickly. Thats what really got me into MMA. Also, I was kind of just done with the wrestling thing. I had been wrestling for almost 20 years and I was ready for something different. The only real future for wrestlers was the olympics, and that was pretty much it.
I never had any amateur fights, but I had a pretty good idea that I could do it. Marc Laimon sent Adrian Ramirez, one of his black belts, to our gym in Texas. He was just showing the basics of Jiu Jitsu since I had never really done it before. A week later we went to Las Vegas for a grappling tournament and I ended up winning the heavyweight division and the absolute track. Even Laimon was like ‘I can’t believe you beat some of these guys after only doing BJJ a week.’ After that point I realized I could hang with these guys. After that it was all about learning striking, and that has been the hardest thing for me to learn out of everything. Jiu Jitsu just came like a second nature to me from my wrestling background.
On Applying his wrestling to MMA:
Staying out of bad positions goes along way against even high level BJJ players. I never felt in a hurry to learn a bunch of submissions right away because I learned the dangerous positions and would just grapple my way away from them. That’s how I did it. I never got in ankle lock position and then turned it around with my own offense, but my wrestling enabled me to fight out of those positions and get to a more dominant one. At this point its just staying out of those positions altogether. Alot of it became second nature for me.
On taking so many fights right away when he started MMA:
Those fights went really quick, and I didn’t take any punishment in them. I just kept getting calls from my management offering me fights. They never told me ‘Hey, you’re doing this.” They would just call me, and it almost felt natural to keep taking them. Everytime they called I just kept saying yes. We had three fights in three weeks. It was pretty crazy doing it like that, but there was never any damage being done and I wasn’t getting hurt in anyway. It just felt like I was still training. Honestly, I would have kept saying yes if the fights kept lining up like that.
On staying calm in the cage:
I think its something that I brought over from wrestling. You don’t want to go out there and blow your wad and then die off for the rest of the period. You want to hit a hard pace and you want to keep it there for the whole time. It was something I had to work on a bit now that I am in MMA, but I think I have a pretty good handle on it now. I think its part of evolving as a fighter. There was a time when I just wanted to overwhelm a guy with my wrestling, pound him out, and get him out of there. Now its like instead of forcing things I am looking for things.
On Georges St-Pierre Vs his teammate Johny Hendricks:
I Had Johny winning three rounds for sure. I could see how you could give GSP 2 rounds in that fight, but I only gave him one. There was round for sure that I thought could have gone either way, but I thought for sure Johny had the win. Johny was hitting him with cleaner punches and when GSP was landing he was just trying to push up the strike count. When GSP took him down he popped right back up. When Johny took GSP down he wasn’t going anywhere for a while. It really seemed like Hendricks won every aspect of the fight.