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
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.
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.
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)