The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented fighter on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.
With two cards coming up this weekend, we’ll be running two different Prelim Breakout Stars. And if we’re going to have a successful weekend, we need to get off on the right foot. Here’s who we think can continue the trend that we set last week with Weili Zhang.
Nickname – GoGetta
Affiliation – Carlson Gracie Jiu Jitsu
From – Miami, Florida
Height – 6’1″
Weight – 155 lbs (Lightweight)
Record – 6-0 (0-0 UFC)
What makes him impressive
The first thing you notice when you see Roberts fight is his length. At 6’1″ the height advantage is already there, but that advantage becomes even greater when you take a look at his 73″ reach, which is the same as some light heavyweights.
How you’ll likely see him use that length is through his jab. His jab has some pop on it, but also is used to frustrate much smaller opponents into making a mistake or diving desperately on a takedown. This is when he really shines using his long limbs to lock up chokes. His Carlson Gracie Jiu Jitsu background stands out when folks are trying to take him to the mat.
Why he has been overlooked
Few in the lightweight division are shaped like Roberts. He’s not the tallest guy in the division thanks to the likes of James Vick who stands two inches taller. However, he and Vick have very different shapes. Vick is strong and very bulky, which makes him look like he is at least a welterweight. On the other hand, Roberts does not in any way look like he could move up a division without putting on some mass. For this reason, people tend to sleep on his skills and assume he’s weak.
What makes this a good match-up
Darrell Horcher comes from a wrestling background and that’s what brought him to MMA. However, he tends to prefer to box. Being that he’s three inches shorter and Roberts uses his long length, it’s reasonable to think that Horcher might fall back on his base. However, with not having wrestled all that much in the UFC, it’s reasonable to think that Horcher might be out of season. It’ll only take one sloppy attempt from too far away for Roberts to make this a short night.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 158-67-1 (2 NC) (6 DNF)