Since much of the UFC 160 spotlight was focused on the main card’s heavyweight tilts, having the heavyweight champ and a former one competing will do that, George Roop’s impressive win over Brian Bowles has gotten lost in the mix somewhat. Not only did Roop take out the former WEC champ, but in doing so, he scored his second win as a bantamweight after dropping down from 145 earlier this year.
It was a huge win for Roop, particularly since plenty of people didn’t expect him to get it. The 31 year-old vet told MMA Junkie.com:
“Let’s keep it real, man. I was overlooked. That’s just the honest truth. I was a very big underdog in this fight, just like I am in a lot. I always fight top 10 guys, and I always go in there and put on a fight.”
After losing back-to-back fights to highly regarded featherweights Cub Swanson and Hatsu Hioki, Roop moved to bantamweight and earned a unanimous decision win over Reuben Duran at UFC 158 in March. As a result, the 14-9-1 fighter has big plans for the division.
“I want to be the champion, and I know everybody says that and I know that’s a pretty cliche thing to say. But I feel like I’ve been able to reinvent myself here at 135 pounds and I’ve beaten some good competitors already.”
When you consider that most of Roop’s losses have come against pretty notable opposition, his abilities, and the fact he’s 6’1 tall, it’s going to be interesting to see what he can do at bantamweight. Certainly seems like he made the right call so far. Maybe the UFC will give him a top ten fighter next?
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