Four time high school state champion of Oklahoma. Three time All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State. Two time submission of the night winner, along with one knockout of the night.
However, it seems once Roller gets to the top of heap in the lightweight division, he comes up just short. With four losses, Roller has a very impressive list of defeats. Names like Ben Henderson, Anthony Pettis, and Melvin Guillard.
It certainly is nothing to be ashamed about, losing to two former champions in Henderson and Pettis, along with Guillard, who is rumored to be nearing a number one contender’s position.
Regardless, Roller wants to continue to make a name for himself, specifically while putting another notch in the win column.
He will look to rebound from his most recent loss, a first round defeat to Melvin Guillard at UFC 132, as Roller faces former welterweight TJ Grant this Saturday at UFC on Versus 6.
Roller spoke to MMAFrenzy regarding that matchup.
Grant will be making his lightweight debut for this bout, having fought at 170 pounds for the last five years. Roller does not see that as being a detriment for Grant, though, stating “I am not counting on Grant gassing out. He’s gone the distance quite a few times at 170 pounds.”
What Roller does count on happening is utilizing his forte, his wrestling, to neutralize the Canadian. “I will start with a high tempo. It’s something I always do,” explained Roller. “I am always confident with my wrestling. I have never gone against someone I feel I don’t have the advantage over.”
Roller has another advantage over Grant he can use, with training partner Johny Hendricks already having fought Grant. Hendricks defeated Grant via decision at UFC 113. “Although Johny does things differently, he has been very helpful,” said Roller. “Team Takedown is always there to help. We are a real close group and we help each other in any way possible.”
Getting back on the winning track is vital for Roller. He wants wins over opponents like Anthony Njokuani, Thiago Tavares, and Jamie Varner to be what he is recognized for, not his losses. Adding TJ Grant’s name to that resume would just be putting him back on schedule.
“I put myself at the top,” said Roller. “Rankings might not, but I know I can fight with the top guys in the division. With Grant, I am excited to show what I can do.”
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