Following back to back wins to close out 2018, strawweight prospect Hilarie Rose was looking to keep her momentum going in her first bout of 2019 this past March versus Rosa Acevedo at CES 55.
After three close rounds, Rose was able to emerge with the split-decision victory over Acevedo and pick up her third straight win following a loss in her pro debut last year.
“I thought it was a really good fight,” Rose told MMAWeekly.com. “It was the first time I had gone three rounds in my professional career, so it was good to get a full fight in and experience that.
“It was a good back and forth fight. It could have gone either way; her winning or obviously me winning. I had some really good moments in that fight, as well as she did, but when I go back and watch I believe I won that fight regardless of how close it was.”
Though she’s put together a solid winning streak, Rose admits there are still some bad habits she falls into, and thus has been working hard over the course of the year to fix them.
“I believe in myself and I go and show up and win, but showing up and being first and allowing myself to really pick that pace and not let that person get control over me (has been a problem in previous fights),” said Rose.
“I’ve worked a lot of my striking and my distance game and being able to feel when I’m inside striking range and when I’m outside of striking range. That’s something I’ve worked on since last year and it’s really benefiting me in all of my fights being able to land when I want and control the pace a little bit better.”
On Friday in Lincoln, Rhode Island, Rose (3-1) will look for her fourth straight win when she faces Kaiyana Rain (1-4) in a main card strawweight bout at CES 57.
“The girl doesn’t have a fantastic record, but she’s fought some girls who are in the UFC currently and has gone three rounds with them and has had some back and forth fights,” Rose said of Rain.
“I believe she’s going to show up and come forward and throw her hands. She doesn’t have any fear. She’s like the last girl I fought in that she’s really tough. She’s got heavy hands and she’s going to come forward, but I think I’m going to be the bigger, better fighter that night.”
With the UFC slated to come to her hometown later in 2019, Rose sees it as the perfect opportunity to make her jump to the next level.
“By the end of the year I definitely have the goal of fighting in the UFC,” said Rose. “They’re coming to Boston in October, and if I could make my debut with them here in Boston that would be a very exciting thing to do. I would love to do that.
“I’m focused on this fight, and after that, making a move to get there; if that means having another fight with the CES or that means I get a fight with (the UFC) I’m excited either way.”