In this new series, we will take a look at the newest additions to the UFC roster, the Bantamweights and Featherweights. The series is used to show the established fighters, ready to fight for the title, down to the new up and comers. For the next few weeks, I will try and post atleast two fighters a day. Leading up to the first title defense in the Featherweight division at UFC 129.
George Roop is the third fighter on our list from the hit reality show, The Ultimate Fighter, and the only fighter on this part of the list with seven fights under the Zuffa banner. Though he’s fought as low as 135 pounds, he was featured as a lightweight on Team Mir on Season 8. Even with being Mir’s last pick, he made it to the second round after defeating WEC vet John Polakowski before being defeated by finalist Phillipe Nover.
Roop went 1 – 1 in the UFC before being released. After a win, he dropped to Featherweight and joined the ranks of the WEC. This is where Roop would go 1 – 1 – 1, against the likes of Eddie Wineland, Leonard Garcia, and Chan Sung Jung. It could have been the vicious headkick of The Korean Zombie at WEC 51, but Roop was invited back to the UFC after four fights. He lost by TKO in the first round to Canadian #1 contender, Mark Hominick.
Roop finds himself in a tough position. With two wins in seven fights on the big stage, he needs to look impressive in his next fight against Josh Grispi at TUF 13 Finale in June. Roop’s best chance is to use is superior striking and Muay Thai background to keep the fight on the feet. After 19 fight career, a win, could find Roop continuing his path as the divisions gatekeeper. A loss could mean the end of his job, and at 29 years old, possibly his career.
UP AND COMERS
#21 – Alex Caceres
#20 – Raphael Assuncao
#19 – Mackens Semerzier
#18 – Pablo Garza
#17 – Dustin Poirier
#16 – George Roop