As a young Boston area hockey player, Charles Rosa (10-2) dreamed of growing up and winning in the Boston Garden as a Bruin. Though he ended up becoming a top MMA fighter in the UFC instead of a Bruin in the NHL, Rosa got to make his Boston Garden dream come true last Jan. when he notched his first big league win in front of his hometown fans in the Garden.
Now, Rosa says he’s returning to the scene of his biggest career moment yet and taking on fellow featherweight Jim "The Kid" Hettes (11-3), on the UFC’s Jan. 17 Boston card in the Garden. "It’s official, contract signed! I’m fighting Jimmy Hettes January, 17, Boston TD Garden," Rosa posted Sat. morning on his Facebook page.
"Very proud to be representing my home and once again be fighting in [the] venue I watched my favorte sports team play."
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Rosa is coming off an exciting, close, split-decision loss to TUF winner Yair Rodriguez in June. Before that, he won via submission over Sean Soriano in Boston, in January.
Hettes will be attempting to make his way out of a rough patch, after losing his last two fights by TKO. Before that, the talented 28-year-old had won three out of his first four UFC fights, two by submission.
The Jan. 17 UFC Boston card is headlined by a bantamweight title fight between champion TJ Dillashaw and returning former champion Dominick Cruz, who lost his belt to injuries and not to any opponent.
Below that, former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis returns to competition for the first time since losing the title, and takes on the always exciting Eddie Alvarez. Also on the card, airing live on FS1, is a heavyweight clash between Travis Browne and Matt Mitrione and a middleweight battle between Tim Boetsch and Ed Herman.