From a culinary artist in Florida to a UFC star and finally back to the CES Cage, Charles “Boston Strong” Rosa’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable. Rosa, set to headline CES MMA 75, is a man deeply rooted in family traditions, values, and a fighting spirit that dates back to his grandfather. However, the battles he’s faced in life, both inside and outside the octagon, are testament to the resilience and tenacity of the human spirit.
A Fighting Heritage Rosa’s fighting spirit is deeply embedded in his family’s DNA. From his grandfather, Dominic Rosa, a Navy boxing champion, to his uncle Tom “The Bomb” Rosa, a renowned Tough Man competitor in New England, fighting runs through the veins of the Rosa family. Tom’s battles at Foxwoods have long inspired Rosa, turning the venue into a dream destination for his own fighting career.
The Pains of the Past However, the adversity Rosa faced as a teenager—losing two older brothers to drug overdoses—shaped his outlook on life and made him the fighter he is today. Thrust into the role of the eldest sibling, Rosa took on the responsibility of guiding his younger siblings, ensuring that they had a role model to look up to and emulate.
From the Ice to the Kitchen While Rosa’s childhood dream was to become an NHL enforcer, he found his second passion in cooking. After training in culinary arts and nutrition at Johnson & Wales, Rosa moved to Florida, where he started his culinary journey at Cut 432. But the fighting spirit within him couldn’t be subdued for long.
Balancing the Knife and the Gloves As Rosa continued his culinary journey in Florida, the desire to fight grew stronger. Combining his love for food with his passion for fighting, Rosa managed to successfully balance a career as a chef with one as an MMA fighter, making waves both in the kitchen and the octagon.
Training the Next Generation Today, Rosa is deeply involved in nurturing the next generation of MMA stars at the American Combat Gym, alongside former UFC fighter Charles McCarthy. Among their star students is Rosa’s younger brother, Lucas.
The Road Ahead As Rosa gears up for his fight against Jonathan Gary at Foxwoods, he remains dedicated to showcasing his skills and aiming for the CES World Championship. His ultimate dream? To headline a sold-out event at the Boston Garden.
A Legacy of Strength and Resilience Throughout his journey, Rosa’s older brothers, Dominic and Vincent, remain a constant source of inspiration. Every time he steps into the cage, he feels their presence, guiding and motivating him. For Rosa, fighting isn’t just about winning or losing—it’s about honoring his family’s legacy and making his mark in the world of