Man... that guy throws the most worthless tournaments and his RITC promotions are horrible. I had no idea the guy was a self-promoted blackbelt. Reason number 563 to dislike Roland Sarria. I always wished there was an alternative to RITC for MMA in Arizona.
Originally Posted by chingythingy
I've met him exactly twice in my lifetime. I think that zero times is too much, but that's just me. The first time I met him was when Homer Moore tried to convince me to get into a fight. Homer graduated high school the same year as me and won a state title in the weight class below me. We were also teammates at the AZ all star duals. Homer had finished 3rd at the Olympic trials and said I should come down to Phoenix to try this fighting stuff. This was around the beginning of 1997. So I went to meet Roland, and Homer had told him very little about me, and he starts trying to sell me a fight right away. Didn't ask if I'd ever trained at all, didn't ask anything. For all he knew I could have been mentally retarded and half blind. Fortunately I've heard enough con men and shysters in my day to know this guy would chew my arm off and sell it to the highest bidder if he could. I declined fighting and said I'd just rather wrestle. Of course he offers to teach me BJJ to "get me ready" because he "knew I'd fight for him one day." I told him I already had a BJJ teacher, and asked if he knew Megaton. That made him slow his sales pitch down right there.
Fast forward to about 4 years ago. By happenstance I run into "chuckles" at a local eatery. He comes over and sits next to me, somehow recognizing me as "Homer's friend" even though I haven't spoken to Homer since around 1999 or 2000. He starts going on about how great his show is, and he said that he knew I'd be ready to fight now. Unknown to Roland, I'd turned down an offer to fight at King of the Cage, and whatever peanuts he was going to offer me, weren't worth it, hometown or no hometown. But being the sporting type, I wanted to see who he'd match me against. So he asked wha weight I'd fight at, and I told him, 155. His first answer is he says he "doesn't have anyone", which is baloney. So he says, he has a guy named Del Hawkins who he thinks would be a good fight. Again unknown to Roland, I know who Del is. Nice guy, met him once or twice, but he's 150 pounds soaking wet. Not to sound arrogant, but that guy couldn't beat me at tiddlywinks. I weigh 175 naturally, just too big and too strong for him. He gives me a few other names, guys I've heard of, but not the best or top guys. So he asks who I wanted to fight. I told him the guys I want to fight are...and listed some top guys. Santino Franco was one, he's really tough, I respect him a lot. Roland looked shocked and asked why I wanted to fight guys who were tough like that, and I said, "Because I don't want an easy win. I'm not going to train 3 months for a fight that I take someone out in 30 seconds. I train 3 months to go to war with someone." He then offered to have me train at his gym again, gave me another sales pitch to compete in grappling, and then said if I wanted "bigger" fights, he could get me into the UFC like he did for some other people. I just had to sign a management agreement with him. Personally, I'd rather trust Charles Keating with my money than sign anything this clown has.
I don't like the guy, never will, and hope that someday someone really hammers in the fact he's a con man and nothing more. Never rolled with him, don't know how good at BJJ he is or claims to be. Don't care really. Heard stories about him competing at BJJ tournaments though, so at least he does compete sometimes.
If you ask Roland who gave him his black belt, he tells you that Jesus did. I think Joe Moreira wouldn't give him one, so Jesus apparently did. In other words, himself. To top off his cheezyness, Roland drives a Honda Element. Megaton and Gustavo don't talk any trash about Roland, I think they just know he's not worth their time.
Go to Megaton's or Gustavos, whichever is closer. You'll end up spending more mat time with the closer one and they're both great.