Welcome to the UFC: Christian Rodriguez

Jonathan Pearce and Christian Rodriguez, UFC Vegas 48
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 18: (L-R) Jonathan Pearce and Christian Rodriguez face off during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on February 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

The UFC is back at the Apex in Las Vegas for UFC Vegas 48 this Saturday. The main event sees Johnny Walker face Jamahal Hill in a pivotal light heavyweight clash. The card took a lot of hits; a total of six fights were lost ahead of the event. Jonathan Pearce was supposed to fight Austin Lingo, but Lingo pulled out due to injury. Now stepping up from bantamweight and on short notice will be Christian Rodriguez.

Christian “CeeRod” Rodriguez
Standing at 5’7″
Fighting at 135 lbs (bantamweight)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US
Training out of Roufusport MMA Academy
A pro record of 7-0
4 KO/TKOs, 2 Submissions

What to expect from Rodriguez in the UFC:

Rodriguez is an accomplished high school wrestler that has adapted to a well-rounded fighter. He fought last season on the Contender Series beating Junior Cortez. Rodriguez missed weight that fight, and that was the only reason he didn’t leave with a contract. A fight won after that and now he’s in the UFC.

On the feet, Rodriguez is all volume with constant forward pressure. He favors the one-two and always attacks in combinations. Those combinations go to the body as well, and he comes in from various angles mixing it up so well. Everything on the feet, he does very well and at his young age he does it like a more experienced fighter. It sets up his wrestling to shoot following the strikes. With his wrestling background he can really display what he wants when he wants to. Rodriguez is a strong grappler and a submission threat.

Rodriguez is still very young and hasn’t fought the best competition. I still think this kid has a bright future even in a stacked UFC bantamweight division. He doesn’t really have any glaring holes. So well-rounded, and he’s only going to get better and better and that’s scary. Not to mention Rodriguez is training at Roufusport which will only increase his skillset over time.

How he matches up with Pearce:

It’s a shame that Rodriguez was signed on short notice, up a weight class, and against one of the better up-and-comers. With that said, although it’s a tough debut fight I don’t count out Rodriguez. Pearce is a banger when it comes to standing and trading and the speed and output of Rodriguez could give him problems. The biggest factor in this fight would be the wrestling of Pearce. Pearce will have a big physical advantage and is someone that can match the gas tank of Rodriguez. As much as Rodriguez has potential, up a weight class against Pearce is going to be tough.