Karl Roberson continues his methodical climb up the UFC’s middleweight division.
The Neptune, N.J. native took his act down the road to New York’s Madison Square Garden and shined under his biggest spotlight on Saturday night. Shaking off an apparent aggravation of a knee injury suffered in training, Roberson nonetheless dominated the ultra-tough Welshman Jack Marshman in a main-card bout at UFC 230.
Roberson got a pair of 30-26s and a 30-27 from the judges for the unanimous decision and his third win in his four UFC fights.
“I had a little knee injury from wrestling, when I kicked the first time I was like ‘nah I’m not gonna do too much more of that,’” Roberson said. “But we adapt to the situation the best of the best adapt when you’re hurt.”
Roberson indeed eased up on the kicking once the injury became apparent, but he never slowed down with wicked left hands that found a home throughout the fight. And while Roberson is known as a kickboxer, he showed great improvement in his wrestling game, shooting a double and transitioning into side control in the second round and scoring another takedown in the third.
“I watched his fight I knew he was a down and dirty tough guy and I knew he would sit there and take it,” Roberson said of his foe.
Roberson improved to 7-1 in his career after going the distance for the first time in the UFC. Marshman (22-8) has now dropped two straight and three of four.