Danny “Hot Chocolate” Roberts is back in the mix at 170-pounds following an impressive knockout win last month at UFC Fight Night Glasgow.
Roberts returned following the first loss of his career to Mike Perry at UFC 204 last October in Manchester. Perry finished the fight with just 20-seconds left on the clock and with Roberts likely on his way to a decision victory.
The Brit needed time out of the game to recover from the injuries he sustained and sort out some personal problems weighing heavily on his shoulders, but speaking exclusively this past week to MMAUNO.com, he explained he couldn’t have been happier with his comeback win.
“I’m so happy with the way things went,” Roberts said. “I didn’t plan for it to go that way, but it all kinda felt right. For me, it was all about testing the water and understanding where I’m at and the only time I’m really going to be able to determine that is when I step in the cage and go toe-to-toe. As soon as that time came, I realized it was my moment.
“It was a massive fight for me. Coming back from my injuries and stuff like that. People just seem to have this mindset that if you’ve fought and suffered serious injuries in a previous fight, like a knockout or a submission, then you’re going to have this big mental defect or underlying problem that you’re going to be able to come back from. My message to people is to forget that. Anything that’s happened to me since that loss in October has only made me better. My mind is sharper, my eyes are sharper and me as a whole, I’m in a better place and now I feel like I’m ready to show everyone my best.”
Roberts then explained all the difficulties associated with having such a long period without a fight. Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz once claimed there’s no such thing as ‘Ring rust,’ but Roberts described how difficult it is to replicate fight night.
“There’s a lot for fighters to have insecurities about,” Roberts explained. “It’s a very lonely place and it’s very hard to explain the way that you will. You got to be in that and moment and that moment only comes twice, maybe three, maybe four times a year.
“It’s hard to go back and reflect. Sure you can remember the fight, but the smells, the feels, the emotions, they’re hard to recreate. It makes up a big part of how you perform and it’s all about enjoying the moment.”
Entertaining The People
With his return win under his belt, Roberts is now focused on pressing on with his career and reminding everyone what he’s all about. With 11 of his 14 professional wins coming inside the distance, Roberts believes he’s an entertainer at heart.
“I look at it now and I just want to reach the top and prove to people that I’m one of the fighters you should never underestimate,” Roberts said. “Everyone knows that I’m going to entertain and I’ve realized that’s who I am. It’s a big part of my livelihood and my character. People have never complained about the style I have or what I bring to the table. I go in there to compete, but I fight to finish. I don’t play games or point score because that’s just not me.
“Right now, with where I’m at I want to take that next step. Sure I had a little slip in my career, but it’s only made me a better fighter. I’m ready to realize my full potential and I know now all my anxieties. The only way is up.”
Eyes On The Top
Having disposed of Nash with a minute to spare in the second round, Roberts is now focused on getting his next fight lined up. The former Cage Warriors man didn’t mention any names but rather said it all about the stylistic matchup and not the name value of the man stood opposite him.
“I want anyone that will put on a good, entertaining fight with me,” Roberts said. “I want to get up there in the top-20, top-15, top-10 and continue with the good momentum that I have now. I want to fight someone who’s got a bit of hype around them and who’s put together a bit of a winning streak. I’m becoming so much more wiser to the way this sport works and how you need to be clever in the way you go about things. I’m ready to take heads off and keep moving forward.”
Thank You Manchester And Glasgow
While ready to move on to the future, Roberts did make a point of wanting to say thank you to the last two crowds he’s fought in front of. According to Roberts, the crowds both in Manchester and Glasgow made moments he will never forget and that he couldn’t put into words how special it made him feel.
“Fighting in Europe, there’s nothing like it,” Roberts said. “The vibe and the energy that you get from the fans it’s electric. In Glasgow the fans were incredible and it was the same in Manchester last year. The second I landed that punch in Scotland was just… there’s no way to describe how it makes you feel, how the people make you feel. Every time I’m in Europe it’s like a homecoming.”