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?

After falling short at UFC Vegas 35, what’s next for Edson Barboza?

Edson Barboza

This past Saturday in the headliner of UFC Vegas 35, we saw a fight that was a dream matchup on paper. Two of the very best strikers in the world battled it out as Edson Barboza (22-10) took on Giga Chikadze (14-2).

Heading into UFC Vegas 35, I actually was picking Barboza. I really liked the way Barboza looked in his fight with Shane Burgos, and I’ve seen Chikadze be susceptible to getting hit in the boxing range.

While Chikadze might’ve had the advantage in pure kicking technique, I liked the total package of Barboza. Well, I was proven to be very wrong on Saturday night. Barboza has always been someone who enjoyed a speed advantage in his striking.

He didn’t have a speed advantage over Chikadze at UFC Vegas 35. For the first couple of rounds, Chikadze’s flawless technique and speed kept Barboza off-balance. Barboza had his moments and the rounds were competitive, but Chikadze was staying a step ahead.

In the third round, Chikadze really turned up the pressure. Barboza was hurt badly and Chikadze was relentless. Ultimately, Barboza succumbed to the pressure of Chikadze and suffered a TKO loss.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 35?

Saturday night was a big setback for Barboza. Barboza had spent his career in the UFC’s lightweight division and took on the best of the best. While he had some success, he could never quite reach the top of the division.

When he moved down to 145, he looked like he was capable of doing that. He lost his first fight to Dan Ige by decision, although the majority of the MMA community believes that he won that. He then won two straight to setup this fight with Chikadze.

Now, it’s back to the drawing board after UFC Vegas 35. With that, who should the promotion pair him against. Well, I think there’s a perfect opponent that is just two spots behind him in the rankings.

I think the UFC should pair up Barboza and “Super” Sodiq Yusuff (11-2). These two were originally supposed to fight back in October but Yusuff had to pull out. Yusuff started his UFC career 4-0 prior to losing his first fight to Arnold Allen back in April.

With both men in a similar spot in the division and both coming off losses, it’s the perfect fight. It’s an exciting fight from a stylistic standpoint and it would tell us a lot about where each man stands in the UFC’s featherweight division.

After sensational win at UFC Vegas 35, what’s next for Giga Chikadze?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 35, we saw a big time showdown in the featherweight division. Two of the very best and most dynamic strikers in the promotion went head-to-head as Giga Chikadze (14-2) took on Edson Barboza (22-10).

Since moving down to 145 pounds, Edson Barboza has looked tremendous. Had it not been for poor judging, he would’ve carried a perfect record at 145 pounds into UFC Vegas 35‘s main event.

That said, Chikadze was going to be his toughest test to date. Barboza has always been known for his tremendous striking. However, this was really the first time he was going to be going up against someone that’s at a higher level.

Giga Chikadze showed just how special he is on Saturday night. Barboza has always stifled opponents with his speed and power. However, he was lacking in both of those categories compared to Chikadze on Saturday night.

Giga landed beautiful kicks throughout the first couple of rounds. He also had bursts where he was so much faster compared to Barboza. Eventually, he caught him with the shot he was looking for. In the third round, Chikadze poured it on and stopped Barboza at UFC Vegas 35.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 35?

After the fight was over, there was one name on the mind of Giga Chikadze. That name was former UFC featherweight champion and arguably the greatest featherweight in the history of the promotion, Max Holloway (22-6).

Holloway was supposed to headline a Fight Night in July against Yair Rodriguez. That bout was expected to be a UFC title eliminator, however, Holloway had to pull out of the fight with an injury.

Currently, the UFC is targeting that fight for November according to Dana White. However, Chikadze might have changed the plan. There’s no word on it yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the promotion tries to get Chikadze in that spot.

If Holloway isn’t next, Chikadze wants to be the backup fighter for the UFC 266 main event. Next month, Alexander Volkanovski will defend against Brian Ortega. If one of those guys falls out, Chikadze wants to be the backup. I could see the promotion doing that as well.

Either way, Chikadze is going to be at the very top of the UFC’s featherweight division once the new rankings come out. Don’t be surprised to see the featherweight from Georgia in a title eliminator in his next fight.

Giga Chikadze stops Edson Barboza at UFC Vegas 35

In the headliner of UFC Vegas 35, we saw a big time fight in the featherweight division. Two of the best strikers in the division went head-to-head as Edson Barboza (22-9) took on Giga Chikadze (13-2).

For Chikadze, this was by far the biggest fight of his UFC career. Thus far, the featherweight from Georgia has been perfect inside the octagon. Chikadze made his debut back in 2019 and he’s gone a perfect 6-0.

If you want to find a guy who’s done nothing but fight the best of the best, look no further than Edson Barboza. The Brazilian’s strength of schedule is like no other and he finally looks at home at 145 pounds.

For years, Barboza was taking on the murderer’s row at lightweight. But then he moved to the UFC‘s featherweight division and has been instantly successful. If it weren’t for terrible judges, he would be a perfect 3-0 at 145, but instead he’s 1-2.

UFC Vegas 35 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 35 main event kicked off with no touch of the gloves as Chikadze was all business. Chikadze starts off the striking with a leg kick and Barboza looks to counter with one of his own. Front kick just misses for Chikadze.

Leg kick from Chikadze is checked by Barboza. Barboza pushing forward with pressure here and he checks another kick from Chikadze. Heavy leg kick from Barboza is checked by Chikadze. Great defensive technique from both men here.

Nice high kick and right straight from Chikadze lands. Chikadze just misses on a flying knee. Nice kick lands for Barboza and he pushes forward looking to land a combination. This is a high level chess match here.

Nice jab lands for Chikadze and he follows with a body kick. Chikadze throws another body kick, but Barboza checks this one. Beautiful spinning back kick lands for Chikadze and Chikadze lands a right hook behind it.

Chikadze blitzes but is briefly sat down by a right hand by Barboza. Barboza lands a big body kick and Chikadze puts his hands in the air. Massive body kick from Chikadze and he’s pouring it on but Barboza is staying composed.

Big 1-2 lands for Chikadze. Another kick lands for Chikadze and Chikadze is really opening up here at the end of the round. The round closes and it’s 1-0 Chikadze at UFC Vegas 35.

Round 2

Barboza needs to get some respect here in the second at UFC Vegas 35 with the way Chikadze closed the round. Barboza takes the center to start the second round and he’s throwing right away. Chikadze looks composed on the outside as he lands a low kick.

Both men trade big jabs as Chikadze circles. Powerful low kick lands for Chikadze. Another low kick for Chikadze as Barboza pushes forward. Left straight from Chikadze and he follows with a big body kick.

Body kick lands for Barboza. Chikadze is looking really slick here in the second round as he’s landing at a very high clip. Vicious body kick lands for Chikadze just after he barely missed a head kick.

Barboza rips a big hook to the body and it looks like Barboza is switching to focusing on the body here. Chikadze circles on the outside and he lands a big jab. Nice right hand lands for Barboza.

Barboza gaining a little momentum here in the second round. Vicious calf kick lands for Barboza. The two men exchange big jabs and Chikadze lands a big left hand. Nice jab from Chikadze. Much better round for Barboza, but I still lean Chikadze. 2-0 Chikadze on my scorecard at UFC Vegas 35.

Round 3

This UFC Vegas 35 main event is so much fun and there’s so much technique on display going into the third. Barboza takes the center and he opens with a double jab. Another stiff jab lands for Barboza as Chikadze looks for a front kick.

Knee to the body lands for Chikadze and he follows with a huge right hand. Barboza is hurt and Chikadze is moving in for the kill. Huge shot lands for Chikadze and Barboza is hurt badly.

Chikadze just pouring it on here and Barboza is down. Barboza tries to go for a leg lock to defend and it pauses Chikadze briefly. Chikadze then moves into the grappling and looks for a choke.

It looks deep, but he lets it go. Barboza gets to his feet, but another big shot from Chikadze lands and down goes Barboza. Chikadze knocks out Barboza here in the third.

Giga Chikadze def. Edson Barboza by TKO – Round 3 

Bryan Battle is the UFC’s Middleweight Ultimate Fighter

Tonight in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 35, we saw a winner crowned in the middleweight division for this season of The Ultimate Fighter. Two members of Team Volkanovski squared off as Bryan Battle (5-1) took on Gilbert Urbina (6-1).

Originally Urbina was not supposed to be fighting for a UFC contract tonight. Tresean Gore (3-0) of Team Ortega was meant to be taking on Battle in the finale. However, a knee injury forced Gore to pull out of the fight.

To get into the finals, Gore knocked Urbina out in the second round of their semifinal matchup. Urbina is a very tough competitor and he has UFC roots with his brother having competed with the promotion. Tonight, he got a second chance to try and become The Ultimate Fighter.

Standing in his way was Bryan Battle who’s been seen as a front runner to become the UFC‘s TUF winner at 185 pounds. Battle stormed through the competition on his way to the finals tonight. Overall, he’s also won four straight fights outside of the TUF house heading into UFC Vegas 35.

UFC Vegas 35 Recap

Round 1

The UFC TUF middleweight finale kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Battle opens with a lot of feints and Urbina steps in with a big kick. Nice leg kick lands for Urbina. Urbina lands a big combination and Battle is hurt.

Battle is slammed to the ground by Urbina. Battle looking overwhelmed here, but he gets back up. Urbina slams him back to the ground and he goes to work with vicious shots on the ground. Urbina gets to the mount and lands some nice shots.

However, Battle weathers the storm and he gets back up to this feet. Battle pushes off and the two are striking again. Another good shot lands for Urbina, but Battle is starting settle in here.

Good combination lands for Battle. Battle is definitely looking more comfortable here and he lands a couple of nice combinations. After he lands, Urbina shoots in for a takedown. Urbina pushes Battle against the fence as he tries to get the fight to the ground.

Battle reverses the position and lands some nice knees. They separate and Battle lands some really good shots before they clinch again. The round comes to a close and despite the strong close from battle, it’s 1-0 Urbina at UFC Vegas 35.

Round 2

While I had Urbina winning the first round, all the momentum appears to be with Battle heading into the second round at UFC Vegas 35. The second round starts with immediate pressure from Bryan Battle.

Battle opens with a nice combination and the strikes are flowing nicely from Battle here. Urbina is looking a little tired, but he does land a decent 1-2. Sloppy takedown attempt from Urbina, but he is able to get a body lock.

Urbina swings to the back and tries to get a takedown. However, Battle defends well. The two separate briefly and both land bombs. A good elbow from Urbina cuts Battle open. Battle is able to land a takedown of his own.

Battle swings immediately to the back of Urbina. Urbina is looking really tired here and Battle locks in a rear naked choke. Urbina is forced to tap and Bryan Battle is the UFC’s middleweight Ultimate Fighter.

Bryan Battle def. Gilbert Urbina by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 2

Ricky Turcios is the UFC’s Bantamweight Ultimate Fighter

UFC

Tonight at UFC Vegas 35, we saw a new Ultimate Fighter crowned in the bantamweight division. The finale tonight featured two members of Team Volkanovski as Ricky Turcios (10-2) took on Brady Hiestand (5-1).

This is a tremendous matchup at UFC Vegas 35 and the story of two very different fighters. On one hand you have Hiestand. Hiestand is what you think of when you think of guys from The Ultimate Fighter.

He’s a very talented prospect with a good wrestling skills and is somewhat well-rounded. However, there are parts of his game that still need developing, but that hasn’t stood in the way of the 22 year old getting this far.

On the other hand you have Ricky Turcios. The UFC has had their eyes on Turcios for some time now. He appeared on the very first episode of Dana White’s Contender Series where he lost to Boston Salmon.

It took going through The Ultimate Fighter, but Turcios has worked his way back onto the UFC scene. Turcios definitely has the experience edge heading into the finale tonight.

UFC Vegas 35 Recap

Round 1

The UFC TUF bantamweight finale kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Immediate pressure from Hiestand who immediately shoots in to try and get a takedown. However, Turcios defends well and they separate.

Hiestand is relentless here trying to get the takedown. Turcios lands a couple of shots as Hiestand shoots in but that doesn’t deter Hiestand. Hiestand lands a big down and he settles into the top position.

Turcios is able to work his way back up to his feet and the two separate. However, they aren’t standing more than five seconds before Hiestand lands another takedown. Turcios attacks a triangle and he uses it to get back to his feet.

However, Hiestand immediately shoots in for another takedown. Turcios hits a nice switch and he gets the back of Hiestand briefly. However, Hiestand spins and ends up on top. Turcios again attacks off his back and uses it to stand back up.

Turcios pushes off and they’re striking. Both men land some big shots. Turcios is getting loose on the feet as he lands. Both men swing furiously at the end of the round. 1-0 Brady Hiestand here at UFC Vegas 35.

Round 2

You can tell that both of these men want that UFC contract heading into the second round. Turcios has a lot to say as the second round gets going and the action starts right away with Hiestand shooting in for a takedown.

However, Turcios is able to stay on his feet. The pressure from Hiestand is just relentless here as he is doing nothing but pushing forward with takedown attempts. Turcios defends well at first, but Hiestand is able to get him down against the fence.

Elbows land from Turcios and he uses the fence to get back up. Turcios separates and both men land good shots as they start striking. Nice right hand lands for Hiestand on the feet and now it’s Turcios pushing forward with pressure.

Huge left hand lands for Hiestand and Turcios shakes it off. Pressure from Hiestand and it’s Turcios who lands a takedown and he briefly takes the back of Hiestand. However, he’s a bit high and Hiestand shakes him off. Hiestand immediately then takes down Turcios.

Turcios uses a nice sweep to get top position. However, Hiestand then reverses and gets back on top. Furious pace here at UFC Vegas 35. Turcios works his way back to his feet and both men land some good shots. Great fight here, but I think it’s 2-0 Hiestand after two.

Round 3

Heading into the final round of the UFC bantamweight TUF finale and I think Turcios needs a finish to win. Hiestand pushes forward with immediate pressure to start the final round.

Big shots being thrown by Hiestand here and Turcios not throwing much here. Nice left hand lands for Hiestand. Big right hand lands for Turcios and Hiestand seems a bit wobbled.

Huge 1-2 lands for Turcios and Hiestand is down. However, Hiestand grabs on to a leg for dear life and Turcios can’t get him off. Hiestand lands a takedown as he looks to recover.

Turcios uses the fence to get up to the feet. Big knee lands for Turcios but he’s not separating here. Both men are just clinching along the fence as they look exhausted. Turcios backs away after his corner begs him to.

However, after pressure from Hiestand, Turcios clinches him again. Turcios’ corner is begging him to separate but he looks exhausted. Hiestand shoots for a takedown, but he can’t get him down. Turcios throwing shots as the final bell sounds. Turcios should easily get this final round, but Hiestand is likely going to be the UFC’s bantamweight Ultimate Fighter.

Ricky Turcios def. Brady Hiestand by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

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: Bryan Battle – Gilbert Urbina

Tonight in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 35, we will see a winner crowned in the middleweight division for this season of The Ultimate Fighter. Two members of Team Volkanovski square off as Bryan Battle (5-1) takes on Gilbert Urbina (6-1).

Now, originally Urbina was not supposed to be fighting for UFC contract tonight. Tresean Gore (3-0) of Team Ortega was meant to be taking on Battle in the finale. However, a knee injury forced Gore to pull out of the fight.

To get into the finals, Gore knocked Urbina out in the second round of their semifinal matchup. Urbina is a very tough competitor and he has UFC roots with his brother having competed with the promotion. Tonight, he will get a second chance to try and become The Ultimate Fighter.

However, it’s not going to be easy. Standing in his way is Bryan Battle who’s been seen as a front runner to become the UFC‘s TUF winner at 185 pounds. Battle stormed through the competition on his way to the finals tonight. Overall, he’s also won four straight fights outside of the TUF house heading into UFC Vegas 35.

UFC Vegas 35 Prediction

When it comes to the UFC Vegas 35 co-main event, it’s going to come down to what Urbina is able to accomplish on the feet. I’ve seen stretches where Urbina does really well in striking range.

He does have some really nice kicks. However, he fails to tie things together a lot of the time and is usually outdone with volume. When he advances there are times he can be a bit sloppy. That will not play against Bryan Battle.

Battle looks like a UFC fighter already with his well-rounded skillset. There will not be an area of the fight tonight where he feels uncomfortable. There is a reason why he’s a pretty big favorite in the terms of the public.

I expect Urbina to land some shots particularly kicks from the outside, but I don’t see him winning this fight. I think Battle will get the better of the striking and if he needs to take things down, I believe he can do that. It’s Bryan Battle’s fight to lose tonight.

Prediction: Bryan Battle by Unanimous Decision

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