Though both circumstances surrounding his pro MMA debut this past March versus Cody Vidal at Bellator 219 outside and inside the cage made for an unconventional experience, light-heavyweight Dalton Rosta was able to work through them and pick up a first round TKO victory.
As Rosta points out, he was originally training for what was probably going to be his final amateur bout before getting the call up to make his pro debut, and then the fight itself ended when Vidal suffered an injury just over a minute into the fight, ending it then and there.
“Leading up to that fight we changed a lot of things,” Rosta told MMAWeekly.com. “I went from sparring three-minute rounds, training for an amateur fight, to immediately just switching over to pro just like that. It was kind of out of nowhere. Once I got the call from Bellator I turned pro immediately after that.
“We had my fight at the end of March. The fight went well. I got the first round finish, although I didn’t get it the way I wanted to. After that I was signed to fight in May, and that didn’t work out, and that happened a couple times until now.”
While his pro turn happened on short notice, Rosta felt like he had made enough progress over the course of his amateur career that the jump wasn’t going to be an issue, and not much ended up changing in his training routine anyway for the move.
“I just felt like I had improved so much and was ready to make the jump anyway,” said Rosta. “It couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Once we started to switch over to the actual pro training, going from three minute rounds to five minute rounds were the only difference. In sparring throwing head kicks, throwing knees, that’s stuff we didn’t do as an amateur either. That was pretty much the only change. It was a little to get used to at first, but we got the ball rolling pretty quick and adjusted well.”
On Friday in Uncasville, Conn., Rosta (1-0) will look to pick up his second win of the year when he faces Ahmed Samir Hefny (1-1) in a preliminary 205-pound bout at Bellator 231.
“He seems like kind of a brawler,” Rosta said of Hefny. “Nobody has pressured him. He hasn’t faced much adversity. He isn’t as polished as he should be as a pro, but his style works for him and it’s worked for him up to this point, but I’m just not a good match-up for him.
“He is going to have a lot of problems with me. He’s not going to be able to deal with the pressure I put on him. He’s not going to be able to deal with the speed, the power, the technique, the wrestling if it comes to that – I pose a lot of problems for him. I see this fight ending in the first round; in the first half of it.”
In addition to being more active in 2020, Rosta’s goal is to use each fight to get him one step closer to his overall career goal now that he’s a pro.
“My goal is to win the Bellator light-heavyweight championship, or middleweight, whichever comes,” Costa said. “As for setting a roadmap for it, I’m just taking it fight by fight. I know each fight I win I’m closer to a title, so I’m going to let that take care of itself.”