Working his way back to the UFC, Ryan Roberts is training for the fight of his life. His face is recognizable in Omaha, but not for a good reason. He is Andrea Kruger's brother. Andrea was murdered in August. Her death and three others have shaken Heartland.
Today Roberts trains at Premier Combat Center off 110th and Q Street. With sweat pouring down his face, Roberts spars in various styles with numerous opponents.
"My sister was a huge fan and a huge supporter of this, she comes to all my fights. She came to my very first one, she was at my last one," said Roberts.
He knows he has to be at his best for this next bout. Because as much as this fight is for him, its also for Andrea.
"Andrea being gone is very tough. Being able to do this in her honor, is a great honor for me, and I am going to give it everything I got," said Roberts.
When Roberts steps into the square cage on December 14th at Ralston arena he knows the money raised that day will be going to a good cause. A large portion of the ticket sales will be going straight to the Andrea Kruger Foundation. A foundation created to help her family.
But also behind this fight come pressure for Roberts himself. Coming off injuries, this may be his last shot to make it into the UFC.
Roberts knows his family and friends will be there to support him. He's pained to know one face will be missing when he looks out into the crowd.
"It's going to have me thinking, I think it's going to give me that extra little bit of drive that if I am getting my butt kicked, to keep fighting, Andrea would have, she was definitely a fighter," said Roberts.
And while Andrea can no longer physically be at the fight, Roberts still believes she will be there in spirit.
"Hopefully she will shed a little bit of that light on me when I am in there and be my angel in there, make sure I don't get injured, and have a great fight," said Roberts.
The VFC 41 fight will be taking place here at the Ralston Arena on December 14th. To learn more about the fight and ticket information go to http://www.ralstonarena.com/events/detail/vfc-41
You can also go to www.cagetix.com to find tickets.