Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look heavyweight Chris De La Rocha as he takes on veteran Daniel Omielanczuk at Fight Night 72 in Glasgow, Scotland.Chris De La Rocha
Hometown: Santa Rosa, California
Weight: 243 lbs.
Weight Class: Heavyweight
Camp: Progressive Jiu Jitsu
Career Record: 3-0
Key Wins: DJ Linderman
Key Losses: None
A correctional officer in the state of Washington, 36-year old Chris De La Rocha began fighting professionally less than two years ago, but has yet to taste defeat in his brief career.
Good physical shape
Very good straight right hand
Solid ground and pound
Short on experience
Lacks one punch knockout power
Too hittable on the feet
Novice in the submission game
Taking fight on short notice
Matchup with Daniel Omielanczuk
This is a tricky matchup as De La Rocha is taking it on short notice. In Omielanczuk’s last two fights, his opponents forced the action to the ground where Omielanczuk had no answers and fought the majority of each bout on his back. Here, De La Rocha is primarily a stand up fighter with solid ground and pound. I expect this matchup to be primarily on the feet. The American is the better athlete with much better movement. I expect him to have success with the straight right which is his best punch; that’s what he landed to put away DJ Linderman. De La Rocha is more of a volume striker and hasn’t shown in his career thus far that he can put away a fighter with one punch. Ultimately, this will probably come down to who tires out first. De La Rocha is taking this fight on short notice, so have to wonder about his gas tank. Omielanczuk has struggled in recent fights as well. If I had to pick, I’d go with the better athlete in De La Rocha, but this is not a fight I’d want to bet.
Chris De La Rocha is an athletic 36-year old that has only fought four times in his professional career. He has solid movement with decent technique in his hands. Given his age, it’s unlikely he will develop a grappling game to really give him a balanced skill set. De La Rocha’s success will depend on a combination of conditioning, movement, and whether he can take a punch. Like the vast majority of newly signed heavyweights in the UFC, it’s hard to imagine De La Rocha making a lasting impact in the division.
Check out Chris De La Rocha in some of his most recent fights:
Chris De La Rocha vs. Matt Kovacs
Chris De La Rocha vs. DJ Lindermann