Shane Roller faces fellow three-time All-American collegiate wrestler Jacob Volkmann on Oct. 5 at UFC on FX 5.
Ahead of the matchup, Roller joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to discuss his opponent’s style, what he would do differently if he could start his career over and more.
On whether his team, Team Takedown, has accomplished what it set out to do: “Not yet. I think it’s on a long-term basis. I think it needs someone to go get the title. I think that’s when it will start paying [owner Ted Ehrhardt] off financially, once that happens. He enjoys it, I think, and I think he’s enjoyed the process so far, but there’s about a seven-year business model, business plan that he drew up. He knew it was going to take a while.”
On how he should have started his career: “I fought really quick, maybe two months after I started out. I was real green to it. I didn’t have any hands or anything. I’d like to [have had] more training. Maybe six months in and then do some amateur fights before I actually did a pro fight, just to get used to what it’s going to be like. Getting in the cage the first few times out, it’s usually a local show and you’re wanting to knock someone out in front of your fans and stuff. At least I did. I got away from my game plan. I’d like to [have had] a few matches under my belt, a few fights underneath my belt before making my pro debut.”
On Volkmann: “He’s tough. He’s got good submissions and he’s a good wrestler. He hasn’t lost very much. Anybody that has a record of 14-3 I think is going to be a good opponent to get my hand raised against.”
On his strategy for the bout: “I’m confident in my wrestling and getting it to the ground. I’d like to stand with him and see how it’s going. If I feel uncomfortable up there, then take it to the ground. I always think that’s where my advantage is, is getting the fight to the ground. I don’t care if I’m fighting a jiu-jitsu specialist or somebody that’s good with their hands, I still think that’s where I’m best at, so that’s where I like to take the fight.”
On whether he’ll have the striking advantage: “I think so, but I like to finish fights on the mat. At some point I see it going to the mat.”
On Volkmann’s style: “I know kind of his style is to take them down and just control them on top. That’s kind of how he wins his fights. I think his wins in the UFC have all been three-round decisions and he hasn’t had any finishes. I think that’s part of his game plan, to get the takedown and grind out a win. I think almost all my fights have been early fights except a couple and I’m always looking to finish a fight. I’m usually a part of an exciting fight. I plan on making this fight an exciting fight too.”
On how his alma mater, Oklahoma St., stacked up against Volkmann’s, Minnesota: “Someone told me the other day in an interview that he said something about OSU can’t hang with Minnesota or something, but I don’t even know what he’s really talking about. I know that my senior year, and I think it was his senior year, we won nationals. So I don’t know why he was trying to say that OSU couldn’t hang with them. It didn’t make any sense to me. I’m just excited. I know he’s a tough wrestler. He came from a tough background. Anybody with that background, that’s went through the practices of D-1 wrestling like he has, he’s a tough guy. I know he’s going to bring it and be ready to fight. I’m looking forward to it.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 2:07:00).