Dwight Grant and Daniel Rodriguez Set for Impromptu Match-Up at UFC Vegas 7

Daniel Rodriguez
Daniel Rodriguez following his weigh-in at SMASH Global 10 in December. Photo: Gabriel Gonzalez

Oh what a crazy time pandemic era MMA has been. At Friday’s UFC Vegas 7 weigh-in, Dwight Grant appeared to have lost his fight on tomorrow’s card. Grant, who had already lost opponent Jared Gooden to injury, had been expected to go up against newcomer Calen Born.

Born, however, did not weigh in on Friday. But as luck, fate, or circumstance would have it, Grant (10-2) does have a fight again. That’s after Takashi Sato fell off the card, leaving Daniel Rodriguez (12-1) without an opponent.

Sato did weigh in successfully on Friday but was not cleared by to compete by the athletic commission. With both Grant and Rodriguez fighting at welterweight, “D-Rod” immediately latched on to the idea of fighting Grant. Grant was apparently agreeable, and the promotion had the pair face-off following weigh-ins, making the fight official.

Rodriguez hit radar screens after an appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019. While he didn’t jump straight to the UFC, another win in SMASH Global saw him earn his shot earlier this year, making his debut against Tim Means. He won the bout via a standing guillotine, immediately announcing his arrival with a big win over the gritty veteran. He followed that up with a unanimous decision win over Gabe Green in May.

Grant, a 2018 Contender Series winner, is 1-2 in the UFC, and has won his last two bouts, against Carlo Pedersoli and Alan Jouban.

UFC Vegas 7 (UFC on ESPN 15) takes place Saturday, August 22 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.