Mike Rodriguez
Bones
Puts striking on display in victory
Light HeavyweightUFC
December 15, 2018
Rodriguez defeated Adam Milstead via TKO (Knee to the body and punches) at 2:59 of Round 1 at UFC on Fox 31 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Rodriguez came into this bout as an underdog but seemed to be the quicker and more technical fighter early, dropping his opponent with a counter shot before a body blow sent Milstead reeling up against the fence. Rodriguez was largely smothered on the ground by Devin Clark in his first fight in the UFC in April but showed himself to be a powerful, accurate striker when given time in space, which could make him someone to watch going forward. Rodriguez moves to 10-3 in professional MMA as a result of the victory.
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Set to battle Adam Milstead
Light HeavyweightUFC
October 17, 2018
Rodriguez will fight Adam Milstead at UFC on Fox 31 in Milwaukee on Dec. 15, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
After earning a UFC contract following a first-round knockout of Jamelle Jones at Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series, Rodriguez went on to drop his first official fight in the UFC. He ended up suffering a unanimous decision loss to Devin Clark, which put a damper on his debut. However, Rodriguez will have the chance for a bounce-back performance, as he's set to fight Milstead in December. Look for Rodriguez to attempt to use his six-inch reach advantage to get an upper hand in this one and he'll have to avoid the powerful strikes of Milstead, who owns six knockouts across eight career wins.
Drops a decision in his Octagon debut at UFC 223
Light HeavyweightUFC
April 7, 2018
Rodriguez lost to Devin Clark via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC 223 on Saturday in New York City.
ANALYSIS
Rodriguez struggled with Clark's wrestling in this fight. At range, he was able to score some devastating strikes including a really hard leg kick at the end of round one. However, Clark was able to close the distance, control the clinch and score takedowns. In the early rounds, he was able to fight back to his feet, but as he began to tire, Clark took over. With the loss in his UFC debut, Rodriguez falls to 9-3 as a professional.
To face Devin Clark in UFC debut
Light HeavyweightUFC
April 4, 2018
Rodriguez will face Devin Clark in a light heavyweight matchup during the Fight Pass early prelims of UFC 223 on Saturday in Brooklyn.
ANALYSIS
Rodriguez made a name for himself with a flying knee KO in the first round of his matchup against Jemelle Jones during Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender series in August. It's tough to draw early conclusions from his experience in lesser promotions, but all nine of his victories have been by either KO/TKO (7) or submission (2). He was featured in four sanctioned fights in 2017, so rust shouldn't be much of an issue. Per UFC.com, Rodriguez is four inches taller with an astounding eight-inch reach advantage. Though inexperience at the highest level is a question mark, most sportsbooks currently have the fight as a pick'em.
Receives UFC contract following DWTNC KO
Light HeavyweightUFC
August 9, 2017
Rodriguez defeated Jamelle Jones via KO (flying knee) at 2:15 of Round 1 which earned him a UFC contract following Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender series. According to UFC President Dana White, two fighters were extended contracts.
ANALYSIS
Rodriguez (9-2) is a Muay Thai specialist that hasn't let any of his professional victories go to the judges. He entered the cage with a three-fight win streak, all of which happened this year. The southpaw was facing a known wrestler and respected Jamelle Jones' five KOs by keeping a distance most of the fight. With a longer reach, he was able to throw leg kicks until Jones ducked for what would have been a takedown attempt if Rodriguez hadn't drilled him with a flying knee to the neck. Rodriguez continued to apply some ground-and-pound until a stop was called halfway through Round 1. The light heavyweight was offered a UFC contract following his explosive performance.