Aaron Roberson, shown in his 2017 debut as a boxer, will face Michael Billups of Tulsa, in an MMA featherweight championship battle Saturday, Sept. 22 as part of XFN 351 at Buffalo Run Casino.
MIAMI — Spending time working as a boxer has helped round Aaron Roberson into a better mixed martial arts fighter.
Roberson, a 2008 graduate of Welch High School now living in Grove, will be part of Xtreme Fight Night 351 on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Buffalo Run Casino.
Roberson faces Michael Billups of Tulsa in a five-round MMA featherweight championship bout.
Roberson was a winner in his first — and only — boxing appearance, when he logged a unanimous decision against Travis Nero in 2017 at Buffalo Run.
“I am preferably more of a striker — I always was, even when I was an amateur, so I prefer to be on my feet,” said Roberson, who played football at Welch for Craig Hood and then Ryan Gleaves.
He spent about six months with Peppe Johnson, who was Trey Lippe Morrison’s first trainer.
Johnson also worked with Allan Green, who lays claim to the fastest-ever boxing knockout at BRC.
“I went to him leading up to my second Bellator fight; I wanted to get my hands better,” Roberson said. “I feel pretty comfortable where I am now with my hands.”
He broke his hand in July 2017, but has fought in Wichita, Kansas, and Oklahoma City since his return to the cage.
“I would love to get back to it (boxing) eventually,” Roberson said. “You have to be in a different type of fight shape for that than for MMA. You are constantly working with your hands and that exerts a lot more energy than trying to pace yourself with doing everything and keeping distance. You can’t do that in boxing.”
The main event of Saturday’s 10-bout card pits Cody Nieto of Pryor against Kenny Licea of Wichita, Kansas, in a five-round kickboxing welterweight championship battle.
Doors open at 7 p.m.
Reserved seats are $25 and premium seats are $35 and are available at the Showplace box office on online at stubwire.com.