If you follow mixed martial arts closely, you know that the road to the UFC can be long and full of obstacles. As the sport grows, so does the talent pool and that road becomes longer as each day goes by. To narrow the focus on local talent, the UFC started Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. The series brings in fighters from across the country and around the world to compete in full professional fights to claim a spot on the coveted UFC roster. The fighters are given a platform on UFC Fight Pass to tell their stories and prove themselves inside the cage at a UFC facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Long Island’s Matt “Steamrolla” Frevola is one fighter who was able to make an impression on the big boss’ contender series with a second round arm triangle submission over Jose Flores on episode eight of season two. Frevola earned his spot on the UFC roster and has since been a part of one of the most memorable fights of 2018 – a three-round war with fellow lightweight, “Groovy” Lando Vannata.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Matt Frevola in advance of his fight at UFC 236 against Jalin “The Tarantula” Turner. During our interview, Matt told me that he started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes Serra BJJ – the gym owned by UFC Hall of Fame member, Matt “The Terra” Serra. After getting hooked on Jiu Jitsu, Frevola moved to Tampa, Florida to attend college and continued his training at Gracie Tampa South, owned by UFC veteran, Matt “No Regard” Arroyo. Under the Gracie Tampa banner, Frevola started tearing through the local Florida MMA scene with an undefeated 8-0 record as an amateur before turning professional in 2014.
In 2017, Steamrolla made the move back to Long Island, New York to continue his training and goal of becoming the best lightweight in the UFC. Now training at Longo-Weidman MMA in Garden City, New York, Matt is looking forward to climbing the rankings of one of the most talent-packed divisions in the sport. Even though he now resides in New York, Frevola often returns to Tampa for training and parts of his fight camps with Gracie Tampa South and Jeff Bailey’s Gracie Clearwater.