Cebu has produced some great boxers but the city is now so readily associated with MMA. Roel Rosauro would like to change that when he competes inside the ONE Championship cage for the fourth time this week.

He is following in the footsteps of some Filipino greats and is proud to represent his country,

“The motivation is to prove to people that I belong here, that I deserve my spot, and that I can represent the Philippines well,” he says.

Rosauro, who faces James Yang at ONE: ‘Revolution’ says his preparation has been affected by Covid-19,

“I’ve been able to train to the best of my abilities for this match (but) it’s hard because sometimes the gym is closed, especially when the restrictions here change, so sometimes I train at home when the gym is closed.”

Roel Rosauro kicks Yohan Mulia Legowo

Top fighter

His opponent is making his professional debut. Yang had was undefeated as an amateur and fights out of Matt Hume’s AMC Pankration in Seattle.

Rosauro knows that anyone coming out of this camp is likely to be a top fighter,

“We all know that he comes from a very strong gym. His teammates are world champions, so he has a very good support group behind him.”

Yang will have been training with Demetrious Johnson and Rosauro does not expect him to have any holes in his game,

“I expect him to be all-around, someone who’s very good at grappling but also has good striking. I think striking is his bread and butter, but I can’t be too sure given that he’s training with some really good grapplers,” he says of Yang.

Roel Rosauro punches Yohan Mulia Legowo

Fighting spirit

But he believes there is at least one area in which he will be superior to the American. Rosauro cites his ‘fighting spirit’ as his greatest strength,

“I can’t really say which part of my game is stronger than his, but probably, it’s my fighting spirit. I’m sure he’s trained well, so it all boils down to my fighting spirit.”