Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 35, we will see a fun matchup in the welterweight division. Former top lightweight contender Kevin Lee (18-6) is moving up to 170 pounds to take on Daniel Rodriguez (15-2).
Originally, Lee was supposed to take on Sean Brady tomorrow night. However, after Brady pulled out with an injury, Rodriguez stepped in. This will be Lee’s second trip up to the UFC‘s welterweight division.
Lee’s career has been interesting thus far. He started his UFC career 9-2 and that led him to an interim title fight against Tony Ferguson. Lee was having a ton of success in that fight before gassing out and getting submitted. Starting with that fight, Lee is just 2-4 in his last six UFC appearances.
Daniel Rodriguez is going to be the biggest guy that Kevin Lee has ever fought. The welterweight who trains with Donald Cerrone has been nearly perfect so far in the octagon. Since making his UFC debut, Rodriguez has gone 5-1 with three finishes.
UFC Vegas 35 Prediction
For both men, the game plan for UFC Vegas 35 is clear. For Kevin Lee, he needs to get the fight to the ground. He cannot afford to stand and trade with Rodriguez who is much bigger and much more polished as a striker.
While Kevin Lee can hold his own on his feet, he’s not a great defensive striker. If he lets Rodriguez get going downhill with big shots, he could be put to sleep tomorrow night.
Rodriguez has good defensive wrestling and he’s going to need it tomorrow night. If Lee cannot take him down, he’s going to be in big trouble. Rodriguez has incredible power and we’ve seen Lee get wobbled in multiple fights.
When he’s at his absolute best, I think Lee is one of the better fighters in the UFC. However, the inactivity and the fact that he really doesn’t have a perfect weight class really hinders him. I don’t like this fight tomorrow night for him. While his wrestling certainly can get it done, I think he’s going to run into some big shots that put him away.
Prediction: Daniel Rodriguez by TKO – Round 2