UFC Vegas 35: Daniel Rodriguez expects to ‘sprawl and brawl’ with Kevin Lee

Daniel Rodriguez expects to stuff takedowns and dominate on the feet against Kevin Lee.

Streaking UFC welterweight Daniel Rodriguez is proving to be a fighter the UFC can count on to deliver. Three weeks ago, and two weeks after his last fight, Rodriguez threw his name in the ring to face Kevin Lee on short notice.

To his delight, the UFC offered him the fight and his biggest opportunity to date. Rodriguez is 5-1 in the UFC, with notable wins over Tim Means, Dwight Grant, and Mike Perry.

Yet, there’s no denying the fact that his opponent at UFC Vegas 35 is the most recognizable name he’s ever faced. The California native isn’t just looking to compete with Lee. Instead, he’s fully expecting to defeat him.

Rodriguez believes he possesses the wrestling defense necessary to keep the fight standing — where he anticipates out-classing the former contender.

“Definitely sprawl and brawl,” Rodriguez said at the UFC media day. “You know what I mean? That’s how it’s gonna be. I feel like I’m gonna have success stuffing his takedowns, defending takedowns. I don’t really get taken down that much, and if I do I get right back up.”

The Dana White Contender Series alum feels as though he has a distinct advantage over Lee in the striking department.

“At the end of the day I feel like I’m a way better striker than him,” he said. “He may have some challenges on the feet with the wrestling, everybody’s like ‘oh he’s gonna take you down’ this and that, but I don’t care about that. My whole career I’ve been training for dudes trying to take me down cause my hands are so good.”

Daniel Rodriguez only one willing to step up to fight Lee?

Lee was left without an opponent following Sean Brady’s injury three weeks ago. Rodriguez claims he was the only fighter willing to step in on short notice.

“I put my hand in the air,” he said. “I’ve been asking for big-name opponents and there it is. I talked to my manager and told him to throw my name in the mix. It took him a couple days to agree to it. He had went and called out Mike Perry and a couple other names that I felt were like not the best options. I feel like I’m probably the most difficult option that he was calling out. Nobody wanted to step up and fight him and I was the only one that was down to do it.”

Rodriguez claims that his activity level compared to Lee’s will be a difference-maker in their fight.

“I started getting ready and actually it lit a fire up my a**,” he said. “To get up and go train. Like yo this fight might happen and if it does I have to be ready you know. It really wasn’t like I was starting from scratch — I had just took off two weeks — my whole last fight camp was heavy on the wrestling. All I had to do was tune up the wrestling sh** and go in there and do what I do.”

UFC Vegas 35 will be the official coming-out party for Rodriguez if he gets the job done. No matter the outcome, kudos to him for stepping up when no one else would.

UFC Vegas 35 takes place on Aug. 28, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.

Published at Thu, 26 Aug 2021 22:46:53 +0000

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