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Roosevelt Roberts prepares to fight Jim Miller in their bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
The Ultimate Fighter

Meet Lightweight Roosevelt Roberts | The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler

Get To Know Roberts And The Rest Of The Season 31 Cast On ESPN And ESPN+

Roosevelt Roberts is just one of many hopefuls looking to make a name for themselves on the most epic season of The Ultimate Fighter yet. With legendary coaches Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler on opposite sides of the Octagon, the stakes have never been higher. Let’s meet the Bantamweights and Lightweights that make up the season 31 cast.

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Bio

UFC Record: 3-3 (One No Contest)

Birthplace: Miami, Florida

Fighting Out Of: Carlson Gracie in Temecula, California

Age: 28

Quick Stat: UFC wins over Thomas Gifford, Alexander Yakovlev, and Brok Weaver

Roosevelt Roberts prepares to fight Ignacio Bahamondes of Chile in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Roosevelt Roberts prepares to fight Ignacio Bahamondes of Chile in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

What does it feel like to be a part of The Ultimate Fighter season 31?

It means a lot; it’s been a long journey. It means a lot, but I'm ready to give it my all and do it again and take it as far as I can take it. 

What have you learned about yourself since your first stint and how has all of that experience shaped you for this moment?

I think a lot of things were messing me up. Not really focusing on the things I was supposed to be focused on. More thinking about the money than thinking about the long run. I was fighting injured a lot, wasn’t able to train when I was supposed to train, and I was just jumping in there thinking that I could do it. These guys are good guys and I have to be 100% and I wasn’t really right mentally or physically. So, I feel like I needed to take some time, and now that I'm back I feel way better and ready to go. 

MORE TUF 31 CAST: Mando Gutierrez | Cody Gibson | Rico DiSciullo | Hunter Azure | Nate Jennerman | Kurt Holobaugh | Jason Knight | Austin Hubbard | Trevor Wells | Carlos Vera | Brad Katona

Do you think that time off changed your perspective for the next chapter in your career?

wanted. Like I said, the first time I was just trying to make as much money as I could; that’s really what I got in this game for was to just make money. I wasn’t really thinking about the long run, staying for the long run. I was taking fights hurt, taking fights not really as prepared as I was supposed to be. Just trying to keep my name out there, keep making money. So, I feel like I needed to realize what I was missing, realize the mistakes I made, realize what I need to do better. So, I feel like the time off really did good for me.

What was your reaction when you heard Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor were going to be the coaches this season?

I thought it would be a good competition between those two. I'm just looking forward to working with both of them, looking forward to seeing what they got and seeing what they could bring new to my game.    

Get To Know Lightweight Roosevelt Roberts | The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler
Get To Know Lightweight Roosevelt Roberts | The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler
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What would you learn from Michael Chandler?

I can learn a lot from Michael Chandler. He’s explosive, he can teach explosiveness. He comes with his wrestling, and his coach, Henri Hooft, I can learn a lot from him, too. I feel like everything they have fits my style of fighting.

What would you learn from Conor McGregor?

His striking is slick, it’s really slick, so I think I can learn a lot of that [style]. I think I could learn to use my hands and my feet more and how to be more confident in my hands and my feet, and how to really set up certain strikes that could put people away. I like Conor, he has some good things that he could teach me, too. I'm looking forward to whoever I'm working with, whoever’s team I'm on, just giving them my all.

What do you think is going to be your toughest challenge in making it to the end?

I think my biggest thing will be the anticipation of getting hurt. The weight cut, I'm aways good. I'm not a big 155er, I'm a little 155er, so I can make the weight. So just staying healthy, making sure I don’t get hurt and making sure I can keep going on the show. That’s what I think will be the biggest problem.

I really don’t mind everyone else; I'm more about myself. I think it will be good to get some work with everybody but I ain’t worried about nobody. I'm worried about myself, worried about what I came here to do. I got people that’s waiting for me, people that want me to succeed, and these guys are here for the same thing. They’re here to do what they got to do, so I got to make sure I stay focused on me and only me.

Before The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler Preview Show

Do you think having experience in Dana White Contender Series will give you an advantage over the new bloods?

Yeah, I think it could, it really depends. I don’t really think it matters where you fight at because a fight is still a fight. I have fights outside of this and I still feel the same feeling that I feel when I walk into a UFC cage. I don’t really think the cage matters. I think it’s how we approach it. So maybe, maybe not, but, like I said, I'm just worried about what I got to do and how I come in there.

Why are you going to be the winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 31?   

Man, I'm just hungry right now. Everybody’s hungry but I'm really hungry right now. I lost a lot and I'm ready to get everything back. I'm ready to prove that I'm supposed to be here. I’ve made some mistakes and I'm just ready to make up for it, go in there, and give it my all. I don’t think this is my last shot, I think even if I go in there and I don’t get it done, I think that I’ll be back. I think regardless, my fighting style fits this company. I know every time I step in there, I bring a good fight and I'm going to fight. So, I'm going in there, giving it everything I got, make sure I don’t leave anything out and just go ahead and push forward.