Gregory Rodriguez needed dozens of stitches to close a huge cut on his forehead minutes after defeating Chidi Njokuani earlier this month at UFC Vegas 60.
Returning home after winning by knockout, and with an extra $50,000 in his pocket from Fight of the night Bonus, “RoboCop” told MMA Fighting that he expected a tough fight against “one of the fastest fighters in the division” but was surprised by Njokuani’s knee that left him with a cut between his eyes early on.
“It’s hard to fight the pain, with such a deep cut, one of the worst cuts I’ve ever seen in my life. [life] watch fights,” Rodriguez said. “This fight was a big test for me, and I passed it with flying colours.”
Rodriguez said the cut required at least 20 stitches, as well as other “inside stitches”, and will now focus on “fixing RoboCop’s armor so it comes back better.”
However, Rodriguez guaranteed that he would continue to fight at UFC APEX even if he knew his life might be in danger due to the exposed artery.
“I would [have continued] because I really don’t know that an artery exposed there will cause me any problems in the future,” said the middleweight, who has won four out of five in the UFC so far. “Even if I knew the size of the cut, I would have continued because it didn’t affect me much.”
Rodriguez credits his cornermen Daniel Mendez and Henry Hooft for their instructions during the fight when he was “a bit blind” and struggled to see when he bled. The Brazilian fighter has said he will ask the UFC for more tests to make sure he is in good health.
Following his third five-match knockout win in the Octagon, Rodriguez is now focused on the birth of his daughter Serena Rodriguez, scheduled for October 10, and is looking to return to the cage at UFC 283 on January 21 in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil, after a much needed break.
“Rest is just as important as training,” he said. “I have a good run, everything is going right, but you can’t keep pushing and pushing the body. This is a machine and it can break down. This cut came on time and also a bonus. For now, I will focus on my daughter and family and return to fighting next year.”