Canadian Gillian Robertson made the drop to strawweight for the first time as a UFC fighter when she faced Contender Series alum Piera Rodriguez at UFC Kansas City.
The preliminary card fight found Robertson, the UFC women’s submissions record holder, coming in off a win over Mariya Agapova — plus a submission of “Thug” Rose Namajunas outside the promotion at Fury Pro Grappling 6.
Early on, Robertson looked to find her entry on Rodriguez, but it was Rodriguez catching a kick about 90 seconds in, which led to Robertson pulling guard. Rodriguez tied up the wrists, while Robertson closed her guard. Robertson managed to grab a leg, worked her way up, holding onto the limb, and landed a takedown in one fluid sequence, leading Robertson to settle in on top. She quickly passed into half-guard, and landed an elbow on Rodriguez, opening up a cut.
Robertson would close out the round in top position, and likely had done enough to secure the frame 10-9 — though earlier in the night, the judges had already proven to be a disaster in Kansas City, botching the Edwards vs. Pudilova result.
Round two saw Robertson land an immediate takedown. Rodriguez attempted to defend with a kimura, but Robertson easily countered that and nearly had an arm-bar. Robertson was comfortably in side control, then passed into mount. Down came the elbows, though Rodriguez re-gained half guard. Not for long though, as Robertson was quickly back to mount, doing more damage with another onslaught of elbows.
Rodriguez was bloodied, and Robertson went looking for a kimura. Rodriguez appeared to have no answer on the ground, and Gillian quickly locked up an arm-bar! Rodriguez appeared to tap, only for the ref to miss it, then wave off the fight moments later. While Rodriguez protested, the result was later announced as a verbal submission, leading one to wonder exactly what Rodriguez was complaining about.
— UFC (@ufc) April 15, 2023
With the win, Robertson secured her seventh submission victory in the UFC, extending her lead as the top submission fighter among females in the promotion’s history.
Official Result: Gillian Robertson def. Piera Rodriguez by verbal submission (arm-bar), Round 2, 4:21