Gillian Robertson, AKA “The Savage,” takes on Sarah Frota this weekend at UFC 240. Robertson is riding a win coming into the fight and looks to gain some steam with her already built momentum ahead of the fight, hopefully launching her into the top 15 in the women’s flyweight division.
Training out of American Top Team, Robertson has some of the best training partners in the world there, a hard to find high level in women’s MMA, at that.
“Recently I’ve spent a lot of this camp with Jose ‘Shorty’ Torres, he’s helped me out a lot.” Robertson says, “There is a huge team of killers there. The team is strong as ever. We have about 10-15 girls that are at the highest level, weather it’s UFC, PFL, Bellator. Amanda Nunes, Kayla Harrison, Joanna [Jędrzejczyk], just huge names in the sport. It’s great to be able to train with girls like that.” Having that much talent at your disposal is perfect for a rising star in her division.
The weight cut is going fantastic for Gillian Robertson as well. “This is probably the best weight cut I’ve had ever. This is the lowest I’ve ever been walking,” says Robertson. “I honestly haven’t been doing as much strength and conditioning lately. I’ve been focusing more on technique. Maybe a little bit less muscle. But, I feel like I’m stronger technically and that is all that matters.”
Robertson is bold when it comes to her game. But it comes from a proven place. In her six wins, Robertson has gone to decision once. The rest: armbar, rear naked choke, armbar, armbar, rear naked choke, rear naked choke, in that order. She knows her bread and butter.
“I feel like all my fights I generally have the same destination. I’m looking for the throw and I have a million ways to get there. It’s just going to be exactly that. I’m going to get a rear naked choke in the first or second round.”
“I feel that my rear naked choke is something unique in the game. I’ve got a million ways to get there, so it’s just a matter of how I’m going to get there.”
After coming in off of The Ultimate Fighter, Robertson rattled off a win against Emily Whitmire in the TUF Finale. Even more impressive, she submitted the highly favored “Meatball” Molly McCann. Unfortunately for Robertson, the path in her UFC career hit a speed bump as she was submitted by Myra Bueno Silva. Primarily being a grappler, this hit Robertson hard.
“No matter what, I’m always trying to finish the fight and trying to get to the throat. Obviously, going against Myra Bueno Silva, it didn’t go my way. That was probably the hardest loss of my career,” Robertson says. “It really effected me mentally. It just hurt so bad to get subbed, you know? I’m a submission artist and to be caught in a submission, I knew I had to come back strong and I think I displayed that when I fought Veronica.”
Gillian Robertson is no stranger to changing her game. In her last fight before The Ultimate Fighter, she recounted on her fight with Hannah Cifers, who is now in the UFC as well. “I feel like when I was an amateur, arm bars used to be my thing. Then I fought Hannah Cifers and I had her in an arm bar for like two or three minutes and she just wouldn’t tap. After that fight, I started adapting my rear naked choke game. You don’t have a choice then, you tap or you go out. In an arm bar, you can tough it out.”
“I remember after the fight, her walking around in a sling because she just didn’t tap. I ended up getting a rear naked choke in the second round. I remember giving up on [the armbar], thinking, ‘This is useless, she’s not going to tap from this.”
Top Of The Division
Announced earlier this month, Liz Carmouche is the next challenger for Valentina Shevchenko as the two are set to square off at UFC Uruguay on August 10th. Gillian Robertson weighed in on the bout as well. “I definitely think it’s a tough matchup,” says Gillian Robertson. “But, Valentina is definitely a monster. I feel like she’s going to be tough to stop for a while. I don’t think a lot of the fighters at the top are going to give her a challenge. But, Liz has beat her before so if it’s anybody, I think it could be her.”
When asked about a up and coming prospect named Gillain Robertson, she had this to say: “Yeah, give it a year or two and I’ll be up there.”
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