Van Roosmalen Says VanNostrand Not On His Level
Robin van Roosmalen (39-7), GLORY’s reigning featherweight champion, has been shelved the past few months due to suffering a cracked orbital bone in his last fight, a successful defense of his title via unanimous decision over Serhiy Adamchuk at GLORY 45.
“It just needed some time to heal,” van Roosmalen told FIGHT SPORTS. “I didn’t want to do anything too fast. You only got one body. I’ve been fighting a lot every year, so why rush it?”
Van Roosmalen, 28, said he was “very frustrated” sitting on the sidelines while his face healed up, which ultimately led to less athletic activities. “I was really bored and I like to eat, so I got fat,” he said, laughing. The champion, who is never bashful about his appetite said he ballooned up to 178 pounds. “I’m a big guy anyway,” he said. “My walk around weight is 170 [pounds] always.”
Van Roosmalen, now 15-3, will face GLORY’s interim featherweight champion Kevin VanNostrand in a title-unification bout at GLORY 52 on March 31 in Los Angeles, Calif. The two were originally scheduled to square off at GLORY 48 in December 2017, but “Pokerface” was forced to withdraw due to his eye injury. VanNostrand remained on the fight card and defeated Anvar Boynazorv via knockout in the opening round to win the interim belt.
Van Roosmalen was not a fan of VanNostrand winning an interim title.
“I think it’s bulls**t,” van Roosmalen scoffed. “I just defended my title like two months before that. I thought it was too fast. He didn’t deserve that. But it’s OK if they want to give somebody a silver belt. I’m cool with that. If I go to the Olympics I want to achieve the gold, not the silver and pretend like I’m the champion. C’mon man.”
Van Roosmalen is not one to sugarcoat his opinion. So it came as no surprise to hear he isn’t that impressed with his opponent, who is now 5-1 in GLORY competition.
“I think he is a little bit too full of himself,” said van Roosmalen, who recently re-signed with GLORY on a two-fight deal with an option for a third. “But besides that, he’s OK. He’s dangerous. He’s got unpredictable things, but he’s not on my level. That’s what I think.”
He added: “I think he’s just dangerous for maybe the first two rounds because everything he does is like a scared reaction. If you do something he reacts on everything with unpredictable things. If he misses, he turns around and gives you a back fist or something like that. That’s the only thing I really have to take care of. As soon as you see him after the first round his stamina goes down so fast because he’s so focused on doing things and reacting off things. I don’t think he’s going to make it past the third round.”
GLORY’s first fighter to win a title in two divisions, gave a glimpse into his game plan for the wildly unpredictable style of VanNostrand.
“I just keep my guard up, stay tight for the first maybe two rounds, put the pressure on and he’s going to gas out. I promise that,” he predicted.
This fight will be van Roosmalen’s third trip to LA, where he’s gone 2-0, winning a decision against Shemsi Beqiri at GLORY 10, and besting Matt Embree by TKO at GLORY 37 in January 2017. The Dutch veteran was stripped of his title before beating Embree due to missing weight, which was a point of controversy due to the scale at the hotel being different from the one used for the weigh ins by the California State Athletic Commission. He said he harbors no ill feelings about it.
“Not at all. Like, for me, I didn’t miss weight,” said van Roosmalen, who reclaimed the featherweight strap after defeating Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao at GLORY 41. “Everybody who knew was there and saw me checking weight and knew I was on weight. They changed the scale. That’s not my problem. For me, it doesn’t matter. Every time I made weight. That was the only time–because of the scale–that I didn’t. I’ve got no hard feelings about it.”
Now 2-0 in MMA, van Roosmalen said he plans on returning to the cage ‘after the summer.’ As for GLORY, he said he doesn’t know, but he definitely wants to face some new challengers as opposed to any familiar contenders.
“I don’t care about the guys I’ve already fought,” he said. “I just want to fight … I think the French-Moroccan kid, [Abdellah] Ezbiri I think,” said van Roosmalen, naming the No.4-ranked GLORY featherweight. He’s a nice kid. He’s had some nice fights. So, maybe he’s next.
“I don’t like to fight the same guys all the time. It’s like getting boring, you know? I don’t mind to fight someone for the second time, but third and fourth? Pfft, I want to fight new guys. Get new motivation. I just want to give good fights, you know? I don’t want to fight the same boring fight every time. There is a different feeling. When I fight somebody new I get like butterflies. You don’t know what to expect. It’s all new. I didn’t face them yet in the ring. So, it’s an all-new experience, and I like that. That’s when I’m at my best.”
Well, VanNostrand is a new opponent for him. So what are his goals for the GLORY 52 main event? Does he plan on making a statement in LA?
“Just a statement that we are on a different level. If the KO comes fast it comes fast. If it’s a stoppage, it’s a stoppage. If it’s a decision. If it’s a dominant performance, I don’t care about it. As long as I get my victory I’m cool.”