After UFC Vegas 35, what’s next for Daniel Rodriguez?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 35, Daniel Rodriguez (16-2) took on Kevin Lee (18-7) on the main card. It was a massive fight for both men. For Rodriguez, he was looking for his first real signature win in the UFC.

D-Rod has been great since joining the promotion with wins over the likes of Tim Means and Mike Perry. Overall, Rodriguez was 5-1 in the UFC entering Saturday night with the lone loss coming via decision against Nicolas Dalby in a fight many thought he won.

Kevin Lee was fighting just his second fight in the welterweight division. Lee at one point challenged for the interim UFC lightweight title, ultimately falling short to Tony Ferguson. That said, many still look at Lee as an elite mixed martial artist.

The fight started out very well for Lee at UFC Vegas 35. Lee was able to land a takedown in the first round and held his own in the standup. However, the second round is where the fight would drastically change.

Rodriguez would land a massive shot near the end of the round that had Lee out on his feet. D-Rod would use his pressure in the final frame to stifle Lee and ultimately win a unanimous decision.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 35?

The fight was a massive one for Rodriguez as mentioned above. Easily, this is the biggest win of his UFC career. With the win, Rodriguez has a number by his name for the first time in his career with the promotion.

In today’s updated UFC rankings, Rodriguez came in at the 15th spot. Now that he’s a ranked welterweight, what should the promotion do with him next? Well, Rodriguez taking on Sean Brady (14-0) would’ve been a good fight. However, the UFC just booked Brady against Michael Chiesa.

In looking at the division, I like Rodriguez against Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-4). Ponzinibbio ranks just a couple of spots ahead of D-Rod and this would be a sensational fight for fans. If I’m matchmaking, that’s what I’m going with.

UFC: Mike Perry and Kevin Lee angling to fight each other

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 35, we saw a fun showdown in the welterweight division. Former interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee (18-7) moved back up to 170 pounds to take on the surging prospect Daniel Rodriguez (16-2).

In the first round at UFC Vegas 35, Kevin Lee was looking really good. He was able to get a takedown and had a lot of control in the round. This was Lee’s first fight since March of 2020.

Lee has dealt with a number of injuries that have kept him out of the octagon consistently over the past couple of years. In the second round, Lee’s inactivity might have really hurt him.

Rodriguez started to plot forward with a ton of pressure and Lee started to crumble. D-Rod hurt him badly and almost ended up finishing the fight in the second round. In the third round, Lee had more success, but was still outworked by Rodriguez.

Ultimately, all three judges gave the fight to Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 35. With the loss, Lee dropped to 2-5 in his last seven UFC appearances.

UFC interested in Lee – Perry?

A few years ago, Kevin Lee had a ton of momentum. On the heels of a massive submission win in a headliner against Michael Chiesa, the UFC gave him an interim title fight. He did well in that fight, but ultimately gassed out and lost.

That loss has sent Lee’s career spiraling downwards. Now, on this recent stretch, the UFC has to get creative with what to do with him next. He doesn’t need a newcomer and he also doesn’t need to fight someone in the rankings.

Kevin Lee needs an entertaining opponent that he can have a fun fight against. That is where Mike Perry (14-8) enters the picture. Platinum Perry is one of the most charismatic and polarizing figures in the UFC.

At one point in his UFC career, Perry looked like he was going to be a title challenger. However, he’s just 3-7 in his last ten fights. After Lee’s fight on Saturday, Perry said he wasn’t impressed on Twitter.

Lee responded saying he’d be down to fight in December. In all honesty, it’s a fight that makes a lot of sense. Would you be interested in the UFC booking Kevin Lee against Mike Perry?

Daniel Rodriguez gets it done against Kevin Lee at UFC Vegas 35

On the main card of UFC Vegas 35, we saw a fun matchup in the welterweight division. Former top lightweight contender Kevin Lee (18-6) was moving up to 170 pounds to take on Daniel Rodriguez (15-2).

Originally, Lee was supposed to take on Sean Brady tonight. However, after Brady pulled out with an injury, Rodriguez stepped in. This was 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 was 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 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 35 welterweight contest kicked off with Rodriguez taking the center. Lee opened the striking with a perfect body kick that pushed Rodriguez back. Rodriguez was looking to work his jab early on.

Lee looks for a lead left hook but he’s caught with a jab from Rodriguez. Another nice body kick lands for Lee. Lee loads up on a right hand that juts falls short, but he’s pushing forward with a lot of pressure.

Nice jab from Rodriguez as he circles away from the cage. Lee steps in and throws a big head kick. Off the kick he tries to get a takedown attempt, but Rodriguez is able to keep the fight standing.

Two big jabs and a low kick lands for Rodriguez. Nice 1-2 lands for Rodriguez. Lee gets deep on a takedown attempt and he’s able to wrestle Rodriguez down to the ground.

Lee settles into half guard and starts working his elbows. Rodriguez seems content with just holding on here as the round nears the end. The bell sounds and it’s 1-0 Kevin Lee at UFC Vegas 35.

Round 2

The second round at UFC Vegas 35 gets underway with a low kick from Rodriguez. Rodriguez looking loose on the feet here as he lands a 1-2 on Lee. Lee looking composed here, but he eats a nice left from Rodriguez.

Beautiful low kick and jab lands for Rodriguez. Lots of volume in the opening 90 seconds from Rodriguez. Lee shoots for a takedown and he’s deep on a double leg. Rodriguez defends well, but he can’t stop Lee from getting him down.

Lee spins to Rodriguez’s back, but Rodriguez spins and now he’s in the top position. However, Lee immediately works his way up to his feet and we are back to striking. Nice right straight lands for Lee. He follows it up with another combination and now Lee is looking loose.

Left straight lands for D-Rod. Another stiff left lands for Rodriguez. Rodriguez lands a shot and Lee appears to be hurt by it. He shakes it out and Rodriguez is zoning in here. Lee seems to have recovered, but he’s getting caught a lot by D-Rod here.

Nice lead right hook lands for Rodriguez. Lots of pressure here from Rodriguez as he lands another nice left hand. Big combination lands for Rodriguez and Lee is hurt badly. However, Rodriguez rushes in and Lee shoots desperately for a takedown and holds on. Great round for D-Rod at UFC Vegas 35.

Round 3

Heading into the final round here at UFC Vegas 35 and I have it 1-1. Rodriguez starts the final round with immediate pressure and he takes the center. Lee tries to throw a big shot but misses badly.

Good combination lands for Rodriguez. Rodriguez is using his jab beautifully here. Lee goes for a head kick, but nothing is home. Lee is looking a looking tired here and Rodriguez is coming on strong.

Rodriguez defends a takedown and lands a massive left on the break. Another combination from Rodriguez and he’s pouring it on. However, Lee lands a massive leg kick that seemingly hurt Rodriguez.

Lee shoots immediately and gets a big takedown. Absolutely nightmare here for Rodriguez as Lee is holding him down. Rodriguez gets up, but he can’t shake Kevin Lee off of him. Rodriguez uses an explosion to break Lee’s grip and were back to striking.

Massive combination lands for Rodriguez almost immediately. Both guys are looking tired here. Lee pushes forward but nothing lands. Both men trade good shots and Lee shoots for another takedown.

However, Rodriguez defends well and we’re striking with one minute left. Body kick lands for Kevin Lee. Nice combination lands for Rodriguez lands. He’s doubled up the striking numbers on Lee. Lee lands a good combination just as the round ends. Great fight, but I lean D-Rod at UFC Vegas 35.

Daniel Rodriguez def. Kevin Lee by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC Vegas 35 Preview: Kevin Lee – Daniel Rodriguez

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

UFC books Kevin Lee – Sean Brady

The UFC has finalized a fun matchup in the welterweight division for their July PPV. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the story last night that the promotion had finalized a matchup between former lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee (18-6) and the undefeated Sean Brady (14-0).

The matchup will take place at UFC 264 on July 10th. Lee will be moving up to the welterweight division and provides a big test for Sean Brady. Brady made his UFC debut back in 2019 and he’s looked great inside the octagon.

So far, he’s gone a perfect 4-0 in the UFC. His last two victories were submission victories over Christian Aguilara and Jake Mathews. He also has a victory over former Ultimate Fighter winner Court McGee. As it stands, Brady is ranked 13th in the UFC‘s welterweight division.

While Kevin Lee has spent the majority of his career at lightweight, this will still be a big test for the young Sean Brady. If Brady can defeat Lee at UFC 264, it will say a lot about how good he really is.

Back to the UFC’s welterweight division

Kevin Lee is currently ranked 12th in the UFC’s lightweight division. However, it’s been more than a year since we’ve seen him inside the octagon. While he’s been gearing up for his return, the promotion hadn’t finalized a matchup for him.

Last week, Lee announced that he would be moving to the welterweight division for the foreseeable future. The Motown Phenom has always struggled with making the 155 pound weight limit at lightweight. With that, Lee decided to move back to the welterweight division.

In 2019, Lee last competed at welterweight when he moved up to take on Raphael Dos Anjos. Like Lee, RDA spent the majority of his UFC career at lightweight before moving up. Lee was submitted in the fourth round which prompted his move back to lightweight.

Now, Lee has decided to give welterweight another shot. If he can defeat a top undefeated prospect like Sean Brady in July, it will say a lot about where he stands in the UFC’s welterweight division.

After dominant win at UFC 259, what’s next for Islam Makhachev?

This past Saturday at UFC 259, Islam Makhachev (19-1) took on Drew Dober (23-10) on the main card. Makhachev has a ton of hype surrounding him and many are considering him to be the next Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The UFC‘s lightweight champion grew up with and is one of the lead training partners of Makhachev. Like Nurmagomedov, Makhachev is a world sambo champion and he possesses a lot of the same skills as the lightweight champion.

This matchup against Drew Dober was going to be a big test for Makhachev. Due to the pandemic, we didn’t see Makhachev inside the octagon in 2020. For that reason, many forgot about how talented he really is.

Drew Dober had been soaring coming into UFC 259. A three-fight win streak where he had won all three fights by knockout. The odds were stacked against him on Saturday, but the thought was that he would provide a tough fight for Makhachev.

Well, on Saturday night, Makhachev mauled Drew Dober. The fight wasn’t competitive at all. Like we’ve seen so many times with Khabib, Makhachev controlled Dober for the entire fight before submitting him in the third round. A dominant return to the UFC for Makhachev.

What’s next after UFC 259?

After that dominant win, Makhachev jumped up in the rankings to eleventh. After this fight, he needs to fight someone that’s in the UFC’s top ten. There are a few options that I like and one I think is a very real possibility.

One option for Makhachev would be Kevin Lee (18-6). Lee is gearing up for his return to the octagon after an injury layoff and he’s currently ranked 13th. He’s been vocal about his desire to fight and test Islam Makhachev.

Another option could be Beneil Dariush (20-4-1). Dariush is now inside the top ten and he’s won six fights in a row. However, Dariush has been very vocal about his desire to move up the rankings and not take on someone lower than him.

Then there’s the matchup that Makhachev and the world wants to see. That would be the matchup with the former UFC interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson (25-5). Ferguson has history with Makhachev’s camp due to the amount of times he was supposed to fight Khabib.

Khabib and Ferguson were scheduled to fight five times and all five times the fight fell through. Makhachev is looked at as Khabib 2.0 and he wants to be the one to retire Ferguson. Ferguson has lost two in a row so from a rankings perspective, this matchup does make sense for the UFC.

UFC Matchmaker: Tony Ferguson – Kevin Lee 2?

Tony Ferguson, UFC

There is no division in the UFC that is as exciting or dynamic as the lightweight division. The division has incredible depth in terms of talent and fighters that are incredibly talented aren’t even inside the top ten.

One of those fighters is Kevin Lee (18-6). Back in 2017, it appeared that “The Motown Phenom” was heading for great things in the UFC. Lee had won five fights in a row which earned him an interim lightweight title shot against Tony Ferguson (25-5).

The two men fought at UFC 216 for the interim title. Lee dealt with a staff infection leading up to the fight, but still took the opportunity to go for the gold. He had some moments of success in the fight, but eventually, Tony Ferguson really started to ware him down.

In the third round, El Cucuy locked in a triangle choke. An exhausted Kevin Lee couldn’t fight the choke and ended up tapping out. Tony Ferguson had his hand raised an the interim UFC lightweight title wrapped around his waste.

Since that fight, it’s been very up and down for Kevin Lee. He’s had great wins against Edson Barboza and Gregor Gillespie, but he’s also dropped three fights. A decision to Al Iaquinta, a submission loss at welterweight to Rafael Dos Anjos, and most recently to Charles Oliveira back in March.

Of course, you see those names and there is really no shame in losing to any of them. All of them are top ten fighters in the UFC‘s lightweight division. Lee is currently recovering from a knee injury, but he told MMA Junkie he has one opponent in mind for his return.

Will the UFC book Ferguson – Lee 2?

In an interview with MMA Junkie, Lee said that he would like a rematch with Tony Ferguson upon his return to the octagon. He believes the fight makes perfect sense given where the two are at and he would like to get that fight back after his loss at UFC 216.

For almost seven years, Tony Ferguson was the boogey man of the UFC’s lightweight division. Ferguson went on a 12-0 run that saw him capture the interim title against Lee. However, 2020 was a rough year for El Cucuy.

Ferguson was supposed to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 249. However, COVID shut down travel and Ferguson fought Justin Gaethje instead. Gaethje dominated the fight and handed Ferguson his first loss since 2012.

Then, Ferguson fought Charles Oliveira at UFC 256. Somehow, the Oliveira loss was even more lopsided than the loss to Justin Gaethje. Now, Ferguson is kind of in no-mans land in the lightweight division.

Both Lee and Ferguson are coming off of losses to Oliveira. Lee is ranked 12th while Ferguson is still ranked fifth in the lightweight division. Considering their history and Ferguson’s 2020, perhaps this is the fight for the UFC to make. However, I wouldn’t put it past Tony to want someone in the top ten next.

What’s next for Diego Ferreira after UFC Vegas 18 loss?

One of the more intriguing matchups this past weekend at UFC Vegas 18 was the lightweight battle between Diego Ferreira (17-3) and Beneil Dariush (20-4-1). Both men carried winning streaks into the cage of at least five on Saturday night.

These two had previously met back at UFC 179 in 2014. That night, Dariush was able to pickup the unanimous decision victory. After that initial fight, Ferreira would go on to lose to Dustin Poirier.

However, after that loss to Poirier, Ferreira won six straight fights heading into Saturday’s rematch. That winning streak found him ranked tenth in the UFC‘s lightweight rankings. A lot of money was coming in on Ferreira prior to Saturday night.

However, the fight would go very similarly to the first matchup. While Ferreira did have some success in the fight, he was mainly neutralized by Beneil Dariush. Dariush used his superior grappling to get timely takedowns which bagged him the rounds that he needed.

After three rounds, the two went to the scorecards at UFC Vegas 18. While it seemed clear to most that Dariush won the fight, the judges were split. However, ultimately the right call was made and Dariush picked up his second victory over Diego Ferreira.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 18?

As mentioned, this loss at UFC Vegas 18 snapped a six-fight win streak for Diego Ferreira. Despite the winning streak, there had been one knock on Ferreira over the last six years and that was his activity level.

Ferreira’s loss to Dustin Poirier came back in 2015. Since the start of 2016, Ferreira has only competed in the UFC seven times which means he’s barely averaging more than one fight per year. Ferreira has dealt with injuries, but he needs to become more active.

He just turned 36 years old and if he has any title aspirations in the UFC’s lightweight division, he needs to get more active. From here, the promotion has a couple of options, but I believe they’ll match him up with someone in the top 15.

Two options for Ferreira would be Kevin Lee (18-6) and Gregor Gillespie (13-1). Both of these contenders rank outside the top ten, but they are still in the top 15. Both are also coming off of losses just like Ferreira. I believe the UFC could matchup Ferreira with either of these contenders and it’d make for a great fight.

After devastating loss at UFC 257, what’s next for Dan Hooker?

In the co-main event of UFC 257, Dan Hooker (20-10) got the opportunity to welcome Michael Chandler (22-5) to the promotion. Hooker had been stating in interviews that he wanted to break the UFC’s new toy.

However, that didn’t happen on Saturday night. Hooker never got the chance to really get into the fight. As soon as the fight started, Chandler pushed forward with a lot of pressure. Hooker circled on the outside, but he seemed a little tentative.

It appeared that he was just trying to gauge the timing and closing speed of the UFC newcomer. Hooker threw a couple of nice leg kicks one of which seemed to really get Michael Chandler’s attention.

However, right after that kick landed, the fight would come to a close. Chandler pushed forward with a straight right to the body and followed with a massive left hook that sent Hooker crashing to the canvas. Several follow up shots forced Marc Goddard to call a stop to the action.

What’s next after UFC 257?

This is a crushing loss for Dan Hooker and he showed it after the fight. Hooker threw his gloves down in the octagon and walked out of the cage extremely dejected. There hasn’t been a word from the Hooker camp since the fight.

Normally when a fighter lays his gloves in the octagon, it signals that the fighter is done. However, let’s just go with the assumption that he was upset and he still plans on competing in the UFC‘s lightweight division.

That said, what should come next for Hooker? Realistically, I think there are a couple of options out there. One fun option would be a fight with Tony Ferguson (25-5). Both men are currently on two-fight losing streaks to some of the best guys in the world.

It would be a do or die fight for both men which could make it a lot of fun. That said, if we want to look a little further down the division, a fight with someone like Kevin Lee (18-6) could make sense for Dan Hooker.

Lee is coming off of an injury, but he’s just 1-3 in his last four fights. This could be a good fight for either man to get back on track. I really hope we haven’t seen the last of The Hangman after Saturday night.