A former Glory kickboxer and undefeated MMA prospect will kick off Saturday night’s festivities against English TKD black belt Darren Stewart. Roberson will bring elite-level striking and a rapidly improving ground game to the cage for his debut. He punched his ticket to the Octagon with an ultra impressive finish on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, and will now have the chance to showcase his skills on the world’s largest platform.
Who is Karl Roberson?
Undefeated 27-year-old new comer Karl “Baby K” Roberson earned his UFC debut by stopping Ryan Spann in only 15 seconds on the third episode of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series this past summer. Roberson made the switch to MMA after he went 0-3 out of the gate as a kickboxer. But don’t be mislead by the underwhelming record - Roberson has a lethal striking arsenal, especially for an MMA fighter. Included in those three defeats was a decision loss to French kickboxing legend Jerome Le Banner, where Roberson floored JLB in the second round, but Lebanner was given well over 30 seconds to gather his wits and mount a “comeback”. Roberson’s home gym is New Jersey’s Killer B Combat Sports, under the guidance of head trainer Brian Wright. He’s also worked his wrestling extensively with top light heavyweight Corey Anderson.
What should you expect ?
Yes Roberson is a striker and will be able to hold his own on the feet with anyone in the division. But don’t underestimate his ground capabilities. The burgeoning grappler has two armbar submissions to his credit and he unloaded brutal Travis Browne-like elbows on Spann’s melon for his immediate take down attempt. His southpaw boxing is his strongest asset and it could earn him a few performance bonuses down the road. Roberson’s 6’1” frame has allowed him to compete as high as heavyweight, but his skill set and power are best suited for the middleweight division.
What this means for his debut?
Roberson will meet English prospect Stewart in the first bout of the night. Stewart moved down to 185 after he was outmuscled by Francimar Barroso in his last fight. Unfortunately for Stewart, Roberson is one of the bigger middleweights on the roster. Stewart won’t want to trade in the pocket with Roberson. Stewart’s best chance at a victory would be to wear Roberson down in the clinch and look for takedowns. But my money is on Roberson staying on his feet and outstriking Stewart to the horn. Roberson, Unanimous Decision
Check out Roberson’s main event finish on the third episode of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series: