Rodriguez (13-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) notched his third win this year when he rallied to stop Dwight Grant in the first round at UFC on ESPN 15. “D-Rod” has impressed since joining the UFC roster and is ready for a step up in competition.
In Perry (14-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC), he sees double incentive. It’s an opportunity to face a fighter on the cusp of the top 15 welterweight rankings, as well as someone that he’s not very fond of. Rodriguez isn’t a fan of Perry as a person and also wants to get one back for his good friend, Mickey Gall, who Perry beat in June.
“I’ll fight anybody, but everybody wanna fight Mike Perry,” Rodriguez told MMA Junkie. “I wanna fight Mike Perry. I wanna sock that fool. That’s an ideal fight for me, to kind of jump up in the rankings, as well as kind of next-level opponents. I feel like I’m ready. Even though I got caught with a punch in that last one, I feel like every fight that I’ve had so far in the UFC, I kind of showed something a little different.”
He continued, “I don’t think anybody likes (Perry). Plus, he just beat one of my homies. I’m that type of person. He just fought my dude Mickey Gall. That’s me, the way I’ve always been, like you’re messing with my little homie so I gotta get your ass. You’re next.”
Personal feelings aside, Rodriguez acknowledges that a matchup with Perry would stylistically deliver. Both men possess fight-ending abilities and durability, which Rodriguez says makes for an exciting fight.
“As entertaining as that last one was, to be honest with you, I feel like my style is a great matchup for that,” Rodriguez said. “He’s got power in his punches; I got power in my punches, too. I know when I gotta step up my game, and really every fight I gotta adjust somehow, some way. So really I’ll fight anybody. But if I can fight anybody, I’d rather it be Mike Perry. That guy is a (expletive) tool bag for real.”