UFC Saudi Arabia: Daniel Rodriguez Reacts to Gastelum Being Unable to Make 170

Daniel Rodriguez got a bit of surprising news ahead of his UFC Saudia Arabia match-up with Kelvin Gastelum this Saturday: with the former TUF winner struggling with his camp and weight cut, the bout was shifted from welterweight to middleweight.

That switch came early Thursday, and “D-Rod” was aware in advance, having received a call from the UFC’s matchmakers.

“Actually the matchmakers reached out. I tried to get it to a catchweight, but he must be having such a bad fight camp that he can’t even make 180,” Rodriguez (17-4) revealed during the UFC Saudi Arabia media day. “I’m currently 179lbs, so I have to put weight back on.”

To put it plainly, Rodriguez has some doubts about whether the culprit here is really Gastelum, who has a history of weight struggles, having a bad training camp.

“It’s been 13 weeks since I found out about this fight, I’m sure he has to. So the fact that he says that he’s having a bad fight camp makes no sense,” opined Rodriguez, clearly not a fan of the situation despite being willing to push onward. “I feel like it’s lack of discipline. I don’t know if he’s having a bad fight camp, or just being lazy and doesn’t want to make the weight.”

Coming off back-to-back losses against Neil Magny and Ian Machado Garry and in a tough spot of his own, Rodriguez revealed that he would receive a portion of Gastelum’s purse due to the change.

“I already agreed to 185, and I’m so invested in this fight, it put me in a really tough spot. I need this fight to happen. I had such a long fight camp, and yeah I did agree to take a percentage of his purse, which is only fair,” he stated. “I just felt like, 180 would have been a good weight.”

“It’s not my first time coming through for the company, and I want the UFC to know that I’m that guy that’s always going to make the sacrifices, even if it’s not in my favor.”

Watch the full UFC Saudi Arabia media day appearance by Daniel Rodriguez above.