Combat Sports

Interview With Mike Rodriguez on His Controversial Loss to Ed Herman and Facing Danilo Marques

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Mike Rodriguez makes his return to the octagon at UFC Vegas 18 four months on from his controversial loss last time out to Ed Herman.

In one of the most controversial fights in UFC history, Ed Herman submitted Mike Rodriguez in round three with a kimura submission. Ed Herman looked destined to lose when he got dropped after being struck with a knee to the body in round two. However, the referee controversially determined the knee a ‘low blow’ thus handing Herman the rest he needed to shake the pain off, turn the tide around, and win the contest.

“It sucked,” said Rodriguez on the loss. “But there was nothing I could do about it. It is what it is, I just had to take it on the chin, keep moving and go to the next fight.”

Amidst the controversy, the UFC handed Mike Rodriguez his win bonus. The 32-year-old says he has no hard feelings towards anyone involved in handing him the fifth loss of his career. “It sucks, it’s a learning experience, just be more cautious when I’m going for the finishes. But no, I have no ill will towards anyone.”

Speaking on whether he believed it was a legitimate win for Herman considering the circumstances, Rodriguez said. “Ye he won. I got overzealous, I tried to go for the finish and he just wrapped up a nice kimura and tapped me. So ye I gave it to him.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 12: (R-L) Ed Herman punches Mike Rodriguez in a light heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Mike Rodriguez had been a fan of Ed Herman having seen the 40-year-old fight on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ eight years before Rodriguez made his professional debut. “I’m a huge fan of him, still am despite of all this b*llshit, I’m still a fan of him. I always liked Ed and it was just an honour to fight him,” said Rodriguez.

Mike Rodriguez Ahead of His UFC Vegas 18 Fight

Mike Rodriguez now prepares to get back to winning ways as he takes on Danilo Marques at UFC Vegas 18: Overeem vs Volkov.

Speaking on his opponent, Rodriguez said. “He is a really good grappler, I believe he is a black belt under the great Demian Maia, which is fine… But he is good, he’s a really good guy. he’s game, he always comes and shows up to fight”. Mike Rodriguez added, “This is going to be fireworks”.

Speaking on what he has been working on most during the four months lay-off since his last fight, Rodriguez said. “Just tightening up my game as a whole, just becoming a better striker, grappler, better fighter overall… Focusing on all of those things as a whole, just my complete package. It’s not one thing over the other or anything, just as a whole. It’s MMA so you’ve got to focus on everything”.

Despite coming off a loss, albeit incontestable circumstances, Rodriguez feels like he is entering the prime of his career. “I do feel like I’m entering my prime. Like I said just getting better and better. Every time I go out there I’m improved, always better than the last time I was out there”.

Rodriguez admits consistency is key if he is really to prove himself as a future contender in the division, having now suffered three losses in his five UFC fights. “That’s actually the underlining theme of the these last couple of fights is always just consistency. I’m always like let’s be consistent, how can we be as consistent as possible”, said Rodriguez.

Should Rodriguez conquer Marques, he has his eyes on another hero of his later down the road in Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua. “I would like to fight Shogun before he retires… I love Shogun, a huge fan of him. He’s an icon, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be in this sport”, said Rodriguez.


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Dion Williams is a Combat Sports writer for Overtime Heroics covering mainly UFC but also Bellator and Cage Warriors!