Gregory Rodrigues on Making Quick Turnaround from LFA Title Fight to UFC Vegas 28

0

It was just over a week ago that Brazil’s Gregory Rodrigues captured the LFA middleweight championship in a huge win over Josh Fremd. A win that not only captured gold for “Robocop” but saw him win LFA’s middleweight tournament as well. The victory has also opened the door to the UFC for the Contender Series alum.

“I don’t expect it would be so fast. I was ready for five rounds, five minute rounds,” Rodrigues told Cageside Press following the win — and ahead of his next fight, already booked and almost here. “I know Josh, I have much respect for Josh. Josh Fremd is a young fighter, a tough, tough boy. But I was very ready for this bout. I put in my focus, my hard work. Sanford MMA, the guys there helped me a lot. Henri Hooft, my coach Daniel Mendez, and all my training partners. I always felt so confident, so calm.”

“I know I can knock people out. I know I have power in my hands. My background, jiu-jitsu, I didn’t show it too much, but I’m very happy. God was great with me,” Rodrigues added.

It was just months ago that Rodrigues (9-3) was in a very different spot. Last September, he came up short on Dana White’s Contender Series, losing to Jordan Williams.

“After this fight on the Contenders, my mind, I was so frustrated. I was thinking about stopping fighting, thinking about giving up,” admitted Rodrigues, noting the doubts that crept in after that performance. “It’s not for me. I got my chance and I didn’t make it.”

Rodrigues says faith got him through that period, as well as friends. There was also a change of camps, to the aforementioned Sanford MMA after years with Black House and Kings MMA — but Rodrigues stated that he didn’t move to Florida for that. Instead, he made the move to Florida to help friends from Brazil build a church. “I’m going to move to Florida, I’ll leave my life to God,” Rodrigues decided. “Do your best, but don’t worry about everything” was the mindset. The LFA title fight was a possibility off in the distance.

Then it came. Two straight wins, and now Rodrigues has a short-notice opportunity at next weekend’s UFC Vegas 28.

Rodrigues received the call-up “the day after my [LFA title] fight,” he revealed. “I fought on Friday, I just held my belt for a couple hours. Saturday night, I was celebrating with my friends from the Church, a barbecue, and my phone started ringing.” It turned out to be Ed Soares, Rodrigues’ manager. “Robocop” admitted he hadn’t slept after his big win — Soares warned him that he probably wouldn’t sleep the next night either.

“That’s one news that I think every fighter wants to hear one day,” he said of getting that call up to the UFC. “I’m just taking my time, getting ready. I’ll fight in two weeks, short notice. The fight in LFA was good, I didn’t hurt myself, I’m healthy, I just need to take more with one more weight cut to 185.”

Come next Saturday, Rodrigues will enter the octagon for the first time against Dusko Todorovic. The Serbian fighter is 1-1 in the promotion after a successful appearance on DWCS.

“I saw a couple of his fights in the UFC, and the Contender Series as well. He’s a good fighter. I respect all my opponents,” observed Rodrigues. “He’s not gone into the UFC for nothing. He’s there for a reason. I accepted the fight on two week’s notice, but I think it’s going to be a great fight. It’s a great debut for me, great opponent for my debut in the UFC.”

Coming off a loss in his last fight, Rodrigues is expecting a motivated Dusko Todorovic. “I’m ready for everything. I’m still ready. Always I say that I’m not training for a fight. I don’t do camps. I’m just training all my life, for all the opportunities I have.”

Watch our full interview with UFC Vegas 28’s Gregory Rodrigues above. The event takes place Saturday, June 5 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here