The merits of Shane Roller are without question. The former WEC lightweight contender won fans with his exceptional ground game and tenacity. In fact, in eight fights within the WEC Roller went an incredible 6-2. Even more impressive is the fact that the WEC had some of the best lightweight fighters in the sport and Roller’s record against them should provide a perfect illustration of his talents. With his only two losses coming against eventual WEC lightweight champions Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis, the fact that Roller beat the likes of Marcus Hicks, Anthony Njokuani, as well as Jamie Varner should solidify his credentials as a top-tier lightweight contender.
A member of the innovative Team Takedown fight team, Roller (9-3) has seen his career flourish working with some of the sports best former collegiate wrestlers such as Johny Hendricks and Jake Rosholt. Aiding in that training has also been Team Takedown’s decision to relocate from their former digs in Las Vegas to here in North Texas at The Gym in Arlington. North Texas fight fans are well aware of the talent The Gym offers given its XKO MMA promotion features a number of their fighters on their fight cards.
But numerous submission victories and fight night bonuses aside, Roller’s career will be tested like never before when he makes his UFC debut tonight on the preliminary portion of the UFC on Versus 3 card taking place in Louisville, KY. Standing across the Octagon hoping to spoil Roller’s debut will be the extremely tough Thiago Tavares (19-3-1). Tavares is coming off a victory over Pat Audinwood at UFC 119. A winner of multiple “Fight of the Night” bonuses, it is safe to say that Roller will have his hands full tonight.
While Roller’s fight will not be part of the televised portion of the fight card, a victory over Tavares will all but guarantee Roller more high profile fights in the immediate future.