Brazil’s Rodrigo Nascimento was supposed to face Don’Tale Mayes back in April. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic saw to it that no events moved forward that month, UFC or otherwise.
Instead, they threw down at UFC on ESPN 8 this past weekend, with the Brazilian coming away with the victory. The Contender Series veteran couldn’t have asked for a better octagon debut. He took home the win via rear-naked choke, in the second round.
Now an undefeated 8-0, Nascimento spoke to Cageside Press following the bout. And when it comes to the fight being moved, he feels it worked out in his favor.
“Yeah, I think sometimes those things happen and they work against the fighter but in my case, I think it was great,” he said. “Because I have more time to put my strategy together. I have more time to work and evolve more with my coaches, and it all worked out very well.”
When it came to a strategy, the octagon newcomer definitely saw something in Mayes’ game ahead of time that made the submission route rather obvious.
“Yes for sure. We knew that he was a dangerous striker, aggressive,” said Nascimento. “But throughout the whole camp me and my coaches, we worked a lot on putting pressure walking forward, putting pressure taking down. And eventually he will make a mistake because he’s not very skilled in Jiu-Jitsu. So I knew that submission would come regardless of first, second or third round. It would come, and it did.
Nascimento’s experience on the Contender Series definitely helped him in his debut. “For sure. In my mind, I had already made my debut,” he explained. “Tonight was just one more step you know, it was actually helped me a lot because Contenders, now UFC. Big show without a crowd, next time will be a big crowd for sure.”
Following the fight, Nascimento called out Chase Sherman, who returned to the UFC just a week ago, with an impressive victory over Isaac Villanueva. Explaining the callout, Nascimento said that it’s “because he’s coming from [the win] Wednesday. I think it’s a perfect match-up for me. You know, I saw some things I can exploit in his game. I like the fight.”