September 28, 2020

After four fight cancellations, UFC 251’s Karol Rosa is ‘prepared and focused’

Despite the cancelation of her bout against Julia Avila, PRVT’s Karol Rosa kept training and now she will face bantamweight Vanessa Melo at UFC 251.

“Unfortunately, this pandemic canceled the fights. But I continued training even with the cancellations because I knew that anytime I could fight,” Rosa said. “Vanessa is a tough girl, she can handle a lot. I’m sure it will be a great fight. I am going very prepared and focused.”

Rosa took a month off after her split-decision win over Lara Procópio in August at UFC Shenzhen. She needed 10 physical therapy sessions, so her left knee can heal from the swellings.

The bantamweight fully recovered from her knee injury 10 weeks later. Rosa couldn’t fight in the first schedule bout against Avila at UFC Singapore on Nov. 26.

Rosa’s fight against Avila got canceled three more times due to COVID-19 and the travel restrictions. The bantamweight kept training at home with Invicta FC atomweight Jéssica Delboni, while the gyms were closed.

“My girlfriend Jéssica and I live together, so we were training at home together. We always help each other,” Rosa said. “When she is on camp, I try to help her – trying to proxy her opponent’s game. She does the same for me.”

The couple share moments outside of training that sharpens each other’s perspective on fighting.

“We help each other out a lot. Every day we talk about our experiences as fighters and it helps to have those conversations,” Delboni said. “We spend so much time together each day, to be honest, and I see it as an advantage.”

A bout between Rosa and Melo was scheduled in May of last year at Future FC 5 in São Paulo. However, the fight got canceled because Rosa needed surgery.

After a year of obstacles, Rosa returns in a bantamweight showdown with Melo on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island this Saturday night.

Cristhian Plasencia

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