George Roop has lost two straight in the UFC, but he’s not worried about getting cut ahead of his March 16 matchup against Reuben Duran at UFC 158.
“That stuff doesn’t even play a factor with me,” Roop told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show on Monday. “I want to kick this guy’s ass. I want to make him bleed. I want to make him hurt. That’s always been my ideal when I step into the cage. … But I can guarantee you, if [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby has me on that [cut] list, he might as well just take me off right now.”
Roop dropped a debatable split decision to Hatsu Hioki in October 2011, but then in January 2012 Cub Swanson finished him via second-round TKO. He has not fought since.
“It’s motivating me to elevate my game,” Roop said of his back-to-back defeats. “I’ve made a lot of good changes. Well, not even changes. I haven’t been training for a long time. I was only training about a year and a half before I even went on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ show. I’ve just elevated my game. I’ve added a lot more tools to my toolbox. I’m ready to take it to Reuben Duran. He doesn’t stand a chance when he steps in there with me.”
Roop wasn’t lacking confidence in his “Beatdown” interview. After studying film of Duran, he didn’t come away worried about his upcoming opponent.
“Let’s not try to downplay it,” Roop said. “He hasn’t fought anybody nearly as good as I have. I’m not impressed by Reuben Duran. I know they call him ‘The Hurricane.’ He’s not even a Category 1. He’s not even a tropical storm as far as I’m concerned. We have monsoons that rain harder here in Arizona.”
The 29-year-old Duran is 1-2 in the UFC. He submitted Francisco Rivera with a rear-naked choke at “The Ultimate Fighter 13” Finale, but he’s coming off a knockout loss to Hugo Viana at “The Ultimate Fighter 16” Finale. Roop hopes to hand him another defeat while securing his own job in the UFC.
“I feel like my whole career has pretty much been in the UFC,” Roop said. “I’ve developed in the UFC. The UFC has given me a platform. I’m very grateful for the UFC. They could have released me and everything. I’m grateful I’m still around, but it doesn’t make a difference. I’m going to fight no matter what. I’m going to show up and I’m going to whoop that ass.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:32:58).