Las Vegas, NV — Daniel Rodriguez has been one of the busiest welterweights on the UFC roster since joining the promotion last year.
He’s also been one of the most successful. At UFC Vegas 31, Rodriguez (15-2) earned a TKO finish over short-notice opponent Preston Parsons, who was stepping in to replace Abubakar Nurmagomedov on eight days notice.
The win improved Rodriguez’s promotional record to 5-1, and put “D-Rod” on a two-fight win streak.
His development over that stretch is something Rodriguez feels is very noticeable. “I’ve grown in every way possible. The past year, I feel like in every single one of my fights, you can tell a difference in me as far as my skillset and how comfortable I am in the cage,” he told Cageside Press following UFC Vegas 31. “There’s still room to grow actually.”
Rodriguez wasn’t too perturbed by losing Nurmagomedov as his opponent just a little over a week out from the fight. However, he admitted that there was one point where it messed with his head a little.
“The only way it messes with my head is not having an opponent. That period of time where I’m like ‘man, I don’t have an opponent, I put in all this work.'” Rodriguez explained. “That’s the only point where it kinda does mess with my head, like ‘man am I going to get an opponent or not?’ Props to Preston Parsons for stepping up on eight days notice against me.”
Rodriguez, who recently relocated to Vegas, also spoke of the benefits of that move. “My last fight camp versus [Mike] Perry, for the past few fights, I’ve been traveling back and forth to L.A., Albuquerque, the BMF ranch [with Cowboy Cerrone], and here. I feel like here’s a good fit for me.” While Rodriguez still makes the trip back to L.A., “the [UFC Performance Institute] is great. It’s great for fighters out here. There’s a ton of training partners. It’s a good move, as far as my career goes.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 31 post-fight press scrum with Daniel Rodriguez above.