Featherweight Charles Rosa is on a breakneck pace, with a trajectory for the UFC. With 20 amateur and eight pro fights since 2010, he is one of the more prolific fighters you might never have heard of. When he makes his national television debut as the co-main event of the Classic Entertainment and Sports (CES) MMA 25 Friday Night FIghts on AXS TV, he may not be such a secret anymore. Undefeated in his first eight pro fights, he is looking to pull off his ninth in front of his largest audience yet. He will be squaring off against Jake Constant of Illinois, a last-minute replacement on the card after two other fighters previously scheduled to face him dropped out.
Charles Rosa is a New England guy from outside of Boston. He now trains in Florida as a member of American Top Team Boynton Beach. In an interview with Michael Wellman on The MMA Word podcast, he recounts a pace as an amateur of about a fight a month. Rosa jokes about learning quickly the benefits of a proper mouthguard, but the fact that he came through that period virtually unscathed points to the skill and resilience of this relative unknown. His eight consecutive victories as a pro would seem to confirm his chops. As far as toughness goes, the fact that he was able to win his last fight by arm bar while sporting a separated shoulder speaks to that better than anything. Like many New England men, he attributes that toughness factor to growing up playing hockey. It doesn’t hurt either to be training under UFC veteran Charles McCarthy.
Rose has made it clear that his goal is to fight in the UFC, and he has made a good start. He has all of the characteristics of a successful contender. He also has all of the intangibles which make for a great UFC personality. He is an interesting guy – the type that people want to get behind and root for. Aside from his fighting, he is a trained chef, having graduated from Johnson and Wales. In addition, he is actively involved with a family charity working to prevent teen substance abuse. That kind of back story makes people want to cheer for him just on a visceral level. He has all of the brash toughness and confidence that fans love to watch in his matches, and a genuine and relatable personality which they find compelling outside of his fights. It is a media member’s dream, and most fight fans know that someone who can attract the attention of the media will always catch the attention of the UFC. At least that is the case when they are also a ridiculously talented fighter.
Since the UFC is on an unusually long break at the moment, it is the perfect storm for a coming out party. With AXS TV nationally televising the fights, fans across the country will get a chance to see the chef cum MMA fighter for the first time. If he can add a ninth win to his streak by taking down Constant at the CES MMA 25, it could be the beginning of Charles Rosa as a rising personality on the national stage.
Alpha Fight is a daily column exploring the world of MMA and kickboxing and all related events and personalities.