Looking to rebound off a loss to close out his 2020, lightweight Jacob Rosales was looking to rebound when he took on Jose Martinez at LFA 97 this past January.
While he did not quite win the way he would have liked, Rosales picked up a unanimous decision victory to get himself back on track.
“(Martinez) was very durable,” Rosales told MMAWeekly.com. “It was a little frustrating. I felt my performance wasn’t as good as I thought it was, but I went back over it and saw I did a lot of good things.
“He kind of ran a little bit, but I was able to dish out a win. I really wanted to go out and finish him, so I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to get that finish and be as exciting as I wanted to.”
Since the win over Martinez, Rosales has made tweaks to his game so he hopefully will not have to chase opponents so much in the future.
“We really went over how to cut people off and to be a little bit smarter and have a game plan and be able to adjust to whoever I’m fighting; whether it’s someone that’s hangs back or someone who comes forward,” said Rosales.
“I would just say that my fight IQ has really boosted up, and that’s going to be the difference for this (next) fight. You’re going to see a smarter Jacob, and a more durable, exciting fighter.”
On September 21 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Rosales (13-6) will face off against Victor Martinez (12-4) in a main card 155-pound bout at Dana White’s Contender Series 2021: Week 4.
“I feel like he’s very tough and very durable,” Rosales said of Martinez. “He’s a good boxer. He’s a tough opponent, and we’ve been working and really watching and figuring him out a little bit.
“We have a few tricks up our sleeves to go out there and show everybody that I deserve to be in the UFC and get that contract. We’re going out there not to get a decision, but to get the finish. You’re going to see a Jacob with all his tools; and somebody who is just a smarter, more exciting fighter.”
While earning a UFC contract with a win on September 21 is the motivating factor for Rosales, he’s not going to let it overshadow the fact that he’s got to get past Martinez first. Everything else comes out of a win first and foremost.
“I think about (winning a contract) sometimes, but then I don’t let it consume me so much,” said Rosales. “I just kind of worry about the fight. I know there will be a finish. I know that it will be exciting. I know that Dana White will catch his eye on me and want to give me that contract.”