Cenla MMA fighter going to the extreme to make it to UFC

In the final part of our series surrounding combat sports, we look at professional fighter who could be the next thing to come out of Louisiana.
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 8:53 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Most fighters say they live in the gym, but for Jesse Roberts, a local MMA fighter, that’s his reality.

“I finally decided I’ll get me a mattress [and] bring it in the back [office],” Roberts said. “I’ll sleep here Monday through Thursday.”

Roberts’ dedication is paying off big time.

“I got to fly to Los Angeles and make my pro-debut out there and get the upset victory,” Roberts said.

Roberts made his pro-debut on the Bellator 214 undercard and took the fight on a seven-day notice. Then beat A.J. Agazarm, one of the top Jiu-Jitsu martial artists in the world.

The eye-grabbing victory now has many people wondering how far can Roberts go.

“That dude is just special man,” Luther Smith, Robert’s boxing coach, said. “I think he’s special. He just needs to believe it.”

“I’m very impressed,” Dee Dee Bordelon, the owner of Global Fitness (where Roberts trains), said. “It seems like the badder the fella, the more humble they are.”

His dream of fighting in the UFC might be closer than ever, with pioneers like Dustin Poirier leading the way. Poirier, a Louisiana native and UFC fighter, recently took home a TKO win against the infamous Conor McGregor. Poirier’s win helped shine a bright light on the state and the sport.

“It helped get our name out there,” Roberts said. “All those guys inspire me a lot.”

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