Las Vegas, NV — Welterweight Pete Rodriguez lived up to his nickname “Dead Game” at UFC Vegas 62, nearly killing the infamous Mike Jackson in their card-opening bout.
Rodriguez (5-1) had a point to prove after losing his promotional debut earlier this year. And that point is simple: “I’m not just a last-minute fighter. I’m here to show you who I am,” he told media outlets including Cageside Press backstage at the UFC Apex on Saturday.
Point made. Rodriguez connected with a heavy punch, a crushing knee, and a few follow-up strikes that had Jackson in the shadow realm for several minutes.
The 100% KO rate remains for Pete Rodriguez 👊
[ #UFCVegas62 is LIVE on @ESPNPlus ] pic.twitter.com/oQrBPsuWbH
— UFC (@ufc) October 15, 2022
Rodriguez was a last-minute fighter when he debuted against Jack Della Maddalena back in January, of course. Knocked out in the opening round himself, Rodriguez took a number of lessons away from the experience.
“You live and you learn. There was a lot of things that I did for that fight that I did different for this fight.”
Stance and distance was one aspect of his fight game that Rodriguez changed up. “My distance was a big thing that I had to learn. I didn’t know too much about the distancing, and I found out. At the beginning of this round, he hit me with a clean three as soon as I came in. As soon as he hit me with that three, I ranged my distance, I stepped back, and okay, my coaches kind of calmed me down.”
His coaches advised him not to get too anxious. “As soon as I hit him with the body shot, I took my time from there, and like I said, everything that [my coach] said, it was like he had a microphone in my ear. Everything that he said, I was doing. There’s a lot of things that you don’t see in the cage, and the coaches are there to say those and do those things, and it works.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 62 post-fight press conference appearance by Pete Rodriguez above.