Gregory Rodriguez’s comeback win over Chidi Njokuani came at a cost, but according to RoboCop, it was worth it.
At UFC Vegas 60 on Saturday, Rodriguez scored a stunning comeback victory, rallying after a horrific cut to the bridge of his nose to finish Njokuani with a ground and pound in the second round. The cut was so bad that Aljamain Sterling described it as if Rodriguez’s face was “falling off”, and Rodriguez agrees it was a bad cut.
“I [have] three eyebrows, âRodriguez joked at a press conference after the fight.
âThe cut was bad, but the victory came and it was worth it. I’m so happy. I expected such a fight. We are inside the UFC. This is the World Cup. The best fighters are here and I am one of them. So I’m just happy and grateful for everything that’s going on in my life right now.
âMy wife just got a little angry, âTell the doctor to do a great job. I’ll go back there,” Rodriguez added with a laugh. “But he did a great job, man, so I’m going to look normal.”
Rodriguez’s latest performance cemented his growing reputation as one of the most spectacular fighters in the world.
The 30-year-old Brazilian has fought four of his five fights in the UFC, with the only loss being a controversial split decision against Armen Petrosyan last February. However, it was almost non-existent against Njokuani as the cut that came close to stopping the fight was caused by an early knee that landed Rodriguez in a world of trouble. Rodriguez says that his knee hurt him badly, but with the help of his angle, he was able to cut through it, which then led to a comeback victory.
âI was dizzy, it was very hard,â Rodriguez said. âI fell, I thought a little, âDude, what happened?â Then blood began to flow, and I seemed to be blind, trying to figure out what to do. But, as I said, I want to thank my corner, my coaches. They did an amazing job. They spoke to me … “Move your legs!” etc. Then I tried and then I [went] back then I thought “I need to start something, I need to start throwing my bombs, throwing my hands to stop him a little” because after this cut everyone will feel confident, try to finish the fight. Then I started waving my arms to show him that I was there, I’m still there, and that’s what happened.
âWhen I finished the first round and went back to my corner, I was worried about the cut,â Rodriguez continued. âMy angle was like, âLetâs move, letâs start touching it. He already felt your hands. Then, when the second round started, he started to do the same, tried to put pressure on me, but I said: âI need to put more pressure on him.â And in one part of the fight, I felt that he was tired. I felt his breath, and it was different, and I said, âOh man, I’m here. I am Robocop and I will kill you,â and I began to feel it. So when I grabbed him by the clinch cage, I felt his body loosen up a bit, so I put him down and said, “I’m going to end the fight.” And I did.
âIt was a big war. I love this fight. I need to watch it again and it will teach me a lot.”
Rodriguez received an additional $50,000 for his efforts, earning Fight of the Night honors along with Njokuani. This is something Rodriguez is becoming more and more familiar with. This is his third post-fight bonus in the UFC, and he promises fans can always expect similar performances from him, every time.
âI can say one thing: whenever I am in the octagon, I am 100 percent there and I give you everything I have,â Rodriguez said. âI leave everything there. Always expect the best from me. I think it’s [what makes me] another. I have no fear [nor am I] afraid to lose. Of course I want to win, but most of all I want to do my best. If I do my best, retribution will come.”