I got a chance to speak with Roland Delorme, UFC fighter and Winnipegger. Delorme was on Spike TV’s final season of The Ultimate Fighter. He won his fight on the season finale of that show and will fight this Saturday on the UFC on Fox card.
BIG MARV: What’s the biggest difference between fighting on the local and Canadian shows and fighting in the UFC?
ROLAND DELORME: Paycheck. It’s about the numbers, man (laughs). In the UFC you can earn bonuses. All comes down to dollars and cents. Also, there’s getting that exposure you just can’t get locally. When you fight regionals you fight in front of a few thousand, if it’s televised, maybe 100,000 people across the nation. The UFC is international so you go from thousands to millions. For my fan base, it’s easier to follow… plus the competition is better too.
BM: What can you tell me about your opponent Nick Denis?
RD: Tough guy. He’s 11-2 with ten wins by KO and TKO. I gotta stay away, fight on the outside. He’s got big power. But everything about him is good not great. I have to be out there, out fighting him. I want a tough, grimy war. For me, everything else is improving. I’m going to win this fight, submission is my specialty, but it’s going to be tough. Which is great. If it’s not dangerous it’s not fun. No risk, no reward
BM: Your last fight showcased how well rounded you are. By knocking down Josh Ferguson and tapping him out… say this fight goes exactly how you want it to, how would you like to finish off Denis?
RD: (The Ferguson fight) was a fantastic fight. I could’ve finished him sooner. Hurt him with the left. Then choked him out. For Denis, as much as I’d like to get the fight on the ground, the fight starts on the feet. We have to trade and see who hits harder, who’s first to be intimated. I know I hit hard, If I catch him with my left, it’s going to hurt. If I get him with my right, he’ll be knocked out. I’m gonna make it a really hard night for him. As for the finish? However. KO, submission. I visualize the fight. What to do is if this happens. Or, ok, now this happened, what do I do. I train so much for every aspect of the fight so that nothing surprises me. It’s all action-reaction. That’s why I don’t plan too much, so if something doesn’t happen the way I plan, I don’t get discouraged. I just train for everything that can happen in there. Also, I have a bad memory, so if I have a bad round, I’ll come out for the second round like nothing happened.
BM: You gained fame from being on the last season of The Ultimate Fighter. Are you getting recognized around the city? What are the perks in Winnipeg? Extra Nip anytime you hit up a Sal’s?
RD: Not much. Get recognized. People want to talk about fighting and the UFC and that’s awesome. But perks come with success, the more success in the ring, the more outside the ring.
BM: What? You mean no one in the city has given you a car yet?
RD: No! I want that Obby Kahn recognition!
BM: Yeah, Obby has his own restaurant now, where’s yours?!
RD: I sold it!
RD: Yeah, I owned a pizza place in Niverville and sold it to fight. I can own a restaurant when I’m 50, but I can’t fight then. Yeah, it was a risk, but sometimes, you got to roll dice. Like I said, no risk, no reward.
BM: That is so cool. We are so proud of you being from Winnipeg. Ace Burpee placed you in his Top 100 People of 2011. Any advice for other local fighters to make it to the UFC?
RD: Hard work pays off. Believe in yourself. Want it, do it. At all costs. Set sights, tunnel vision until you get it. Even when you’re too exhausted, and you don’t feel like doing it, don’t quit. The guy you’re fighting, he isn’t quitting. So get after it. Hard work is how to achieve it.
BM: Once the fight is over and you don’t have to worry about making weight anymore. Tell me the one thing you want to eat.
RD: Not one thing. Everything. Cheesecake, poutine. When I see a menu, I want it all. One thing? I guess I gotta say Pizza. Man, pizza is my favorite. (laughs)
BM: Anyone you want to throw a shout out to?
RD: My sponsor Booster Fight Gear, my team at WAMMA and my trainers Lindsay Hawks and Curtis Brigham, without them I’m nothing. I love WAMMA. I enter the cage to fight alone, but with WAMMA, I got an army behind me.
BM: Thanks Rolly. You have the whole city of Winnipeg behind you too! Best of luck!
RD: Thanks, man.
Roland Delorme fights Nick Denis Saturday, May 5th in East Rutherford, New Jersey on the undercard of UFC on FOX 3: Diaz vs Miller