This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 23, Daniel Rodriguez (14-2) kicked off the main card on ABC against Mike Perry (14-8). The fight promised to be a scrap between two guys who always bring it when they step into the cage.
Perry was desperate for a win and Rodriguez was looking to bounce back after suffering his first UFC loss in his last time out. Heading into the fight, I wanted to see the cardio and wrestling of Daniel Rodriguez tested.
Mike Perry was able to do both of those things at UFC Vegas 23. D-Rod was forced to fight at a decent pace and he was forced to defend takedowns. Perry was able to get him down a couple of times, but overall, D-Rod defended very well.
When they were on the feet, Rodriguez did his thing. His straight left was brutalizing Mike Perry all night at UFC Vegas 23. Perry had no answer for it and it looked like he just didn’t see it coming.
When these two were striking, they looked like they were on completely different levels. D-Rod busted Perry up bad on his way to picking up a unanimous decision victory and the biggest victory in his young UFC career.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 23?
As mentioned, this was a big win for Daniel Rodriguez. He is now 4-1 in the UFC and you could make the argument that he actually won his fight against Nicolas Dalby. He’s one decision away from being perfect after five appearances inside the octagon.
I think in his next fight, the UFC needs to give him a step up in competition and someone who is on the verge of being ranked. Rodriguez is only one big away from potentially cracking the top 15 at 170 pounds.
So who could the UFC pair him with? Well, I really like a potential matchup with him and Michel Pereira (25-11, 2 NC). Pereira is an entertaining wild man who has won back-to-back fights in the UFC. He’s another exciting contender who could just be a win or two away from a ranking.