Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Gregory Rodrigues has the opportunity of a lifetime at Dana White’s Contender Series this week. “Robocop” is set to take on the returning Jordan Williams, a fighter Dana White and co. apparently think highly enough of to invite back for a third shot on the show.
Which means a win over Williams could make a contract a lock for Rodrigues (7-2) come Tuesday. Of course, nothing is set in stone. But Rodrigues has trained with some top fighters, like Jacare Souza, Rafael Cavalcante, and even Anderson Silva.
“I’ve been working really hard for it. I’m one step to my goal, and I’m going to make this happen,” Rodrigues told Cageside Press ahead of his Contender Series outing.
Like many fighters, Rodrigues has been on the sidelines of late. But he’s more than ready to get back to action. “I’m ready for the moment, for my fight. Since I started training when I was just eight years old. It’s good to be active, to be busy, but you never know when something will happen, like the coronavirus coming. All these things have been crazy, but there’s no change here, no change in my mind.”
Prior to getting the call for Contender Series, Rodrigues actually had a fight booked. “I was waiting for a fight in LFA last month, against a guy there, and I got this opportunity to fight on the Contender Series,” the Black House MMA fighter revealed. “Always, my goal was to get to the UFC.”
Rodrigues says he got the call just one or two weeks before his fight in LFA, and because of the timeframe, it was a hard decision. “I was prepared for my fight with LFA, I was ready to win the fight, but a fight’s a fight. I believe I made a great decision.”
Rodrigues believes that winning his way into the UFC, rather than signing direct with the promotion, actually has an upside. “Dana White will already know you, everybody is going to know you already,” he suggested. “Going to the UFC, no matter how you get it, it’s great. But when you get there and everybody already knows you, that’s amazing.”
It matters even more because Rodrigues is looking to do more than just make it to the UFC “for one more fight.” Like many, he has long-term goals. “I will be there to be a champion, to get it step-by-step, get my time in, and go to the title shot and get the belt. That’s my goal, that’s what I’m working for.”
Gregory Rodrigues takes on Jordan Williams Tuesday, September 15 on Dana White’s Contender Series. The fight airs live on ESPN+ in the U.S., and UFC Fight Pass elsewhere.