After Narrow Loss to Hioki, Roop Wants to Make Statement

By Sherdog.com Staff Dec 23, 2011
George Roop lost a split decision to Hatsu Hioki at UFC 137, but he believes he won the fight.

That’s not to say he necessarily disagrees with the judges’ call, though.

“I thought the decision was, I guess, fair,” he told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I felt like it was a very close fight. If you look at the fight, I feel like I won the fight in general because at the end of the night, he didn’t want to be in there with me anymore. He wanted out of there, and I inflicted more damage. But if you go back and you score the rounds, the rounds were very close, especially the first round. I really think that’s what it came down to.”

In other words, Roop nearly beat a fighter currently ranked No. 2 in the world. Still, it was a good performance, and he’ll have a chance to bounce back Jan. 28 when he fights Cub Swanson at UFC on Fox 2.

“All I can do is look forward,” Roop said. “My next task at hand is Cub Swanson. He’s going to be a handful. I plan on going out there and being vicious and really making a statement. I’m going to be very aggressive in this fight. I’m not going to leave anything to interpretation. Everybody’s going to definitely know who won the fight at the end of this fight.”

Roop is confident he’ll win, but he also respects Swanson’s game.

“I think Cub Swanson’s actually a real tough guy,” he said. “He’s fought Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes both. … Chad Mendes wasn’t able to finish him, and he’s an outstanding fighter in the featherweight division. Cub Swanson’s going to be a very good test for me. He’s very explosive and he’s very well rounded.”

Roop has studied plenty of film on Swanson. He didn’t learn much from the Aldo fight (it was over too quick) or from the Mendes bout (Roop said Mendes is “as exciting as watching paint dry”), but he did pick up a few things from Swanson’s other performances.

“I’m really putting a good game plan together to really take it to him and take him out,” Roop said. “I want to make a statement. I want to show people that I am a top-10 fighter and that I am making a run for the title.”

The bout could have a substantial television audience if it gets a slot on the Fox telecast. Roop’s obviously hoping it will.

“I always show up to fight and I’m always ready,” he said. “I never let the nerves get to me in the UFC, and I’ll bring it. I just really hope that I get to show the Fox audience. … I want them to say, ‘I want to watch that guy fight again.’ That’s my perspective going into every fight.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:18:15).

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