Jake Rosholt has been fighting professionally for four years and has seen his fair share of ups and downs during his still-young career.
The three-time national-champion Oklahoma State wrestler had a short stint with the UFC in which he went 1-2 and was released in late 2009. Add neck surgery to repair two herniated disks to the list, and it's safe to assume that Rosholt's best days are still in ahead of him.
Rosholt (11-3) returns to action for the sixth time in 2011 when he meets Matt Horwich (26-18-1) at Friday's Shark Fights 17 event, which airs live on HDNet from Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas. There, he looks to avenge his lone loss since exiting the UFC.
"[I take] nothing away from Horwich; he whipped my ass last time," Rosholt recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio
). "But it's going to be a completely different fight. I'm going in with a different mindset, just a different swagger, and I got a lot of confidence right now. I'm fighting good, and it's going to take a hell of a man to stop me."
Since their first meeting, which Horwich won via third-round TKO, Rosholt has remained extremely active – and even fought twice in six days back in May. Horwich, meanwhile, has only seen action once in the past eight months.
Rosholt's neck and body appear to be responding well to the constant grind he's put it through in training. He now hopes to match some of his early-career success, which put him on the fast track to the UFC and WEC.
With a win over Horwich, Rosholt may be poised to rejoin Team Takedown teammates Johny Hendricks and Shane Roller in the UFC.
"I don't see why not (if) I go out there and put on a good performance," he said. "This would be like six wins in a row against a tough guy – a guy that's beat me before – so it's the first hurdle that I've had to jump in my career. It'll be a great test for me and damn sure a big stepping stone to get myself back in the UFC."
With a return to the sport's premier organization being possible, Rosholt doesn't have a fight inked after Horwich. But he does believe he's fully capable of competing with the sport's best at 185 pounds if given the opportunity.
"I don't have anything lined up right away," Rosholt said. "We've been talking to some people about some fights. It kind of depends what goes on. If this fight goes good and the way I think it will, I would love my shot back in the UFC.
"I'd like to get back in there, and I think I'm as good a fighter as anybody they have in the UFC. I just need to get back in there and get my opportunity again."