UFC Vegas 86 Preview: Brad Tavares – Gregory Rodrigues

MMA: UFC 276-Tavares vs Du Plessis
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

On the main card of UFC Vegas 86, we are going to see a really fun matchup between two exciting middleweight contenders. Longtime promotional vet Brad Tavares (20-8) will be looking to pick up his second straight win as he takes on Gregory Rodrigues (14-5).

Starting with Tavares, he’s been fighting with the UFC since 2010. He was featured on the 11th season of The Ultimate Fighter and lost in the semifinals to Court McGee and he won a fight on the finale moving his professional record to 6-0. If you’re doing the math, that means tomorrow night is his 24th fight in the promotion.

He’s been in there with the very best the promotion has to offer including former champions Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker as well as current champ Dricus Du Plessis. In his last fight, he fought and defeated another former UFC champion in Chris Weidman. Tavares looked like a sniper in that fight which snapped a two-fight losing streak.

Gregory Rodrigues got a shot on The Contender Series back in 2020 and was stopped in the first round. However, he didn’t give up. After two wins on the regional scene, he was given a UFC contract and won his first two fights including a knockout over Jun Yong Park.

He then suffered a split decision loss but bounced back well with two straight finishes. However, then he was knocked out by Brunno Ferreira. In his last bout, he stopped Denis Tiuliulin in the first round and now he’s looking for his second straight win and a big name in Brad Tavares.

UFC Vegas 86 Prediction

I think we are going to see these two strike a lot tomorrow night. Both men love to be exciting and I think for the most part, you’re going to see these two stand and trade at UFC Vegas 86. However, I do expect Rodrigues to mix in his wrestling throughout and that’s going to hurt Tavares.

Tavares is not known for having a ton of power and that’s going to hurt him in this matchup. Rodrigues is going to march forward and use a ton of pressure while mixing his striking and wrestling. That’s going to make things tough on Tavares and it’ll be tough for him to get his offense off.

Unless he’s able to hurt Rodrigues, I think it’s going to be a pressure show from Rodrigues. Not sure a finish happens in this one, but I think the win is there for Gregory Rodrigues at UFC Vegas 86.

Prediction: Gregory Rodrigues by Decision