clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jared Rosholt, UFC 193's 'Fighter to Watch' tonight in Melbourne takes you through Jared Rosholt's rise through the Heavyweight ranks in the lead-up to his pay-per-view (PPV) encounter with Stefan "The Skyscraper" Struve later this evening.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is poised to host a monumental mixed martial arts (MMA) event, UFC 193, later tonight (Sat., Nov. 14, 2015) in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

On a female-driven pay-per-view (PPV) main card, two women's title fights are the marquee attractions as Ronda Rousey (12-0) defends her Bantamweight belt for the seventh time against former professional boxer and top-ranked contender Holly Holm (9-0), while 115-pound strapholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk (10-0) looks to continue her destructive reign when Valerie Letourneau (8-3) gets her shot at gold.

Elsewhere on the card, which emanates from the 60,000-seat Etihad Stadium, are electrifying tussles featuring combatants like Mark Hunt, Antonio Silva, Robert Whittaker and Uriah Hall.

However, there's one man looking to break into uncharted territory with a win over the versatile Stefan Struve (26-7) and his name is Jared Rosholt (13-2). The 29-year-old Oklahoma State University (OSU) wrestling product has only lost once in six UFC tries.

Sitting on the outskirts of the Heavyweight class' Top 15, "The Big Show" will likely nab a spot in UFC's rankings if he is able to grind out -- or finish -- the dangerous Struve.

Rosholt began his professional career in Oklahoma, the same area he attended college. Right after the three-time All-American wrapped up his prolific career on the mat, he jumped into the MMA pool head first.

He was off in a hurry, piling up four wins in 2011 -- all finishes. Rosholt met Dee Burchfield in Feb. 2011 and quickly ravaged the latter, following an explosive double-leg attempt, to end the fight in just over a minute with tenacious ground and pound.

The Texas-based Rosholt made a quick turnaround and fought twice in May, earning stoppages over Ray Clayton and Kirk Grinlinton. Clayton was forced to tap in the second round to a wrestler-friendly americana submission.

In the bout against Grinlinton, Rosholt waited patiently for his chance to level change into a beautiful double-leg takedown. Then, he assumed full mount and decimated his challenger with sledgehammer-like fists.

Rosholt ate a slew of inside and outside leg kicks, but with an elite wrestling base in tow, striking wasn't at the forefront of the former's game plan.

Onward and upward the smothering grappler Rosholt went as he won his fourth consecutive in June 2011 over Robert Haney, before landing in Texas-based regional promotion Legacy FC, where he challenged future UFC heavyweight and knockout specialist Derrick Lewis in Aug. 2012.

"The Black Beast," who was the owner of seven finishes (6 KO) coming into the meeting, was able to tame Rosholt after a less-than-impressive initial frame where he was repeatedly taken down. Lewis landed a hard right when Rosholt shot for a takedown, which staggered the latter and allowed him to pounce and score the finish with just seconds left in round two.

Rosholt rebounded over five months later in Feb. 2013 with a unanimous-decision romp over Bellator veteran Richard Odoms utilizing his unmatched wrestling ability.

Odoms was bloodied and beaten at the end of their 15-minute affair and like most high-level wrestlers, Rosholt was content doing damage from inside the guard of his opponents, pinning them down almost mercifully. Even when he gained their back, he would straddle them and make life uncomfortable, forgetting about any guillotine or rear-naked chokes.

Back on the winning track and doing what he does best, handling fighters at will, Rosholt reeled off three victories in-a-row before landing on UFC's radar.

He wrecked Bobby Brents and then dispatched Richard White in the first round to continue his dominance in 2013. Jason Walraven was the next domino to fall after Rosholt dropped him with a mammoth right hook.

In Oct. 2013, Rosholt signed a contract with the fight conglomerate and made his debut a month later against the heavy-handed Walt Harris. The former Golden Gloves champion nearly put an end to Rosholt's UFC debut early with a stinging left hook that dropped the latter in the first frame.

Rosholt would weather the storm, though, connecting on solid body kicks and knee strikes over the remainder of round one and then in the second. He then decided to test the takedown defense of American Top Team's Harris, placing him on his back off of a sweet single-leg takedown and terrorizing him with short elbows.

Next up for Rosholt was a battle with Polish submission specialist Daniel Omielanczuk in April 2014. He wouldn't experiment on the feet as much as he did in his debut, opting to go to the ground with Omielanczuk, where he had much success taking him down throughout three rounds.

Rosholt made his living in side control and cruised to a unanimous-decision win.

Australian brute Soe Palelei was matched up with Rosholt in June. This one got ugly in a hurry as it was "The Hulk" pursuing a takedown, which was not forthcoming.

Instead, Rosholt took command in the clinch, eventually wrestling him down to the mat and slamming fists into his face up against the cage. More clinch work ensued in round two; he even found the mark with several uppercuts while there.

Round three included more ground control as Rosholt marched on to a resounding victory.

Up until this point, through 12 professional fights, striking wasn't much of a focal point of his attack, aside from dirty boxing in the clinch. If he was forced to strike, there wasn't much fluidity and it was done more in the way of setting up a takedown.

That changed in his fourth Octagon appearance against Alexey Oliynyk. In Rosholt's Nov. 2014 slobberknocker with "The Boa Constrictor," he opened up in the first round with a couple of leg kicks and face-breaking uppercuts.

He would drop the veteran of 69 fights and take control of the bout early, slamming knees into his face and sharp elbows when the two stood up. Rosholt became too overzealous in his pursuit of the finish and possibly gassed, leaving himself open to a counter left hook from the Russian, which landed flush on his chin.

It was the second time Rosholt had been finished by strikes in his career.

Undeterred and on a mission to reach the Top 15, he carried on his way, sprinkling in two clear-cut victories over Josh Copeland and Timothy Johnson in 2015 to raise his UFC record to 5-1 and set up a collision with "The Skyscraper."

Struve, 27, has fought the best-of-the-best in the 265-pound division over the last six-plus years, achieving mixed results in the process. The well-rounded Dutchman possesses the power to put a fighter to sleep and the know-how on the ground to leave him unconscious.

One of his biggest weaknesses is his chin, which will undoubtedly be targeted by the American Rosholt. All four of Struve's losses in the Octagon have resulted in him taking a nap, more often than not in round one.

Rosholt isn't known for his quick starts, but if he can put him on his back in a hurry, perhaps he can rain down some of his ground strikes. Struve's Brazilian jiu-jitsu will come into play and Rosholt will have to make sure he stays low.

This is a perfect test for Rosholt to see if he's ready to make the leap up in competition and I think he passes with a technical knockout victory.

For more on the UFC 193: "Rousey vs. Holm" card and for live results and play-by-play click here and here.