Daniel Rodriguez Did Some “Secret Ninja Training” Ahead of UFC Vegas 7

Daniel Rodriguez grew up a boxing fan. But when boxing experienced a downturn and MMA took off, he set his sights on competing in the cage. A gym membership gifted to him set him on his path, and he hasn’t looked back.

Rodriguez returns at UFC Vegas 7, looking for his third win inside the octagon — and third of this year. So far, he’s picked up victories against Tim Means and Gabe Green. A strong start for the fighter, who was previously a mainstay in Combate Americas.

“Every fight was just constant improvements and learning, whether it was win or lose,” he said of his early career, which also saw stops in SMASH Global and Bellator. “Fortunately I’ve been on the winning side of my fights, something like 90%, I only have one loss.”

“I take every experience back to camp and work on adjusting and improving those areas that need improvement,” he added.

Adjusting is something he had to do immediately ahead of Saturday’s fight. Rodriguez was expected to face Takashi Sato. But after weigh-in, Sato was not cleared to fight. Rodriguez now faces Dwight Grant, who’s own opponent, Calen Born, did not weigh in.

While some fighters have been seriously hampered by the coronavirus pandemic when it comes to preparation, “D-Rod” has lucked out in a sense. “Training camp hasn’t changed much. I still work with the same people. Luckily the gyms I go to are smaller gyms. It’s more the big corporate gyms are the ones that are shut down,” he explained during the UFC Vegas 7 media day this week.

“I still get the same amount of work. It’s just a lot more secretive,” he continued. “Secret ninja training, that’s what I call it, secret ninja training. When we have these secret training sessions, not really no one knows about it, but we still have a solid group there.”

“The pandemic hasn’t affected my training in any way,” he finished.

Watch the full UFC Vegas 7 virtual media day press scrum with Daniel Rodriguez above. The event takes place Saturday, August 22 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.