UFC 129 Interview: Daniel Roberts Looks To Destroy & Damage

Daniel “Ninja” Roberts: It’s a cool job. I get to beat up people.

After losing his UFC debut to John Howard, rising welterweight Daniel Roberts has reeled off four consecutive victories, with the most recent two being first round submissions.

Being dedicated to MMA as a career for the past two years now, Roberts is going into his next fight with the same mindset that he always does:

“Destroy.  Finish him.  Hurt.  Damage.  I’m looking to win as fast as possible.  That’s always on my mind.  ‘What can I do to end this?’”

As for being in the spotlight and having potential distractions, Roberts knows he does not have to be concerned.

daniel roberts mma

Daniel "Ninja" Roberts

“I just stay extremely focused on my job.  It’s a cool job; I get to beat up people in the cage.  You may be nervous the first couple fights, but do you get nervous when you go to work everyday?  It’s your job, you know?  I’m used to doing this so I stay extremely focused because I’m doing my job.”

Feeling confident about his match-up with Claude Patrick at UFC 129, Roberts knows better than to look past his opponent.

“My goal is just to win.  I don’t like to set long term goals.  My goal is to win my fight against Claude Patrick and then from there on out is to win my next fight and to just keep winning.  I’m going to be concentrating all my energy on Claude Patrick.”

“I’m not gonna say any other opponents until I beat him.  I’ll be ready for anything once I beat him.”

Much of that confidence comes from feeling good about your training camp and training with some of the best fighters in with world, under Cesar Gracie.

“[Camp] was great.  Some great training here with Jake [Shields] and Nate [Diaz].  We’re really pushing each other really hard.  It’s awesome because we’re all in great shape.

Gil [Melendez] and Nick [Diaz] just fought, so they are still in great shape, they’re still training with us.  They both had first round finishes, so they’re not really hurt or nothing.  It’s awesome.”

As for the secret behind the success of “The Scrap Pack” fighters under Cesar Gracie, the formula is really quite simple, at least according to Roberts.

“Everybody who trains under him are super hard workers.  He gets the guys that work extra hard.  It’s no secret to success – the harder you work, the more successful you’re going to be.  Gil and Jake, they are some of the hardest workers I have ever seen in my life, it is just crazy.  They’re very successful as well, so it’s no secret, we just work hard out here.”

Like much of his team, Roberts is feared for his Jiu-Jitsu skills, but he alerts fans to keep an eye on his stand-up skills too.

“My standup is really getting better.  I think once people see my standup, then I’m going to be a real threat.  Once I start knocking people out, they’re not gonna want to go to the ground with me and they’re not gonna want to stand with me.”

Does he favor a submission to a knockout?

“Whatever way I can have my hand raised.  I’m pretty good at submissions, but that’s definitely not all I’m looking for.  I’m looking to do damage.”

Roberts also shares his opinion on the match-ups for his high-profile teammates, Nate Diaz and Jake Shields, who are also competing at UFC 129.

“Nate has Rory MacDonald; he’s a pretty tough guy.  It’s going to be interesting because they’re both good at the same things.  They’re both good boxers and good at Jiu-Jitsu.  I give the advantage to Nate though, because of his boxing.  I think he’s one of the best boxers in all of MMA, really.  He’s really good.

“Jake….everybody’s counting him out.  One thing about Jake, he’s not going to stray from the strategy.  He knows what he’s good at, he’s going to apply that on [Georges] St-Pierre.  St-Pierre is definitely a well rounded fighter, but I see his weakness is Jiu-Jitsu, so it’s a good match-up.”

With momentum at Cesar Gracie’s “Scrap Pack” riding as strong as ever, Roberts and his team will be looking to make a real impact at UFC 129 April, 30th in Toronto at the largest MMA event in North American history.

For more on Daniel Roberts, check out his website ninjaroberts.com or follow him on twitter at @ninjaroberts

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