DWCS 5's Mike Rodriguez was confident in UFC deal: 'Be phenomenal, or be forgotten'

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5536098885001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – The UFC has a brand new “Bones” in its light heavyweight division, and with highlight-reel knockouts like the one he had Tuesday night, who knows? Maybe there’s a “Bones” vs. “Bones” fight waiting down the road.

Mike Rodriguez (9-2) shut down Jamelle Jones (7-5) with a flying knee a little more than two minutes into the first round at Dana White’s Contender Series 5 at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas. The win, streamed live on UFC Fight Pass, got “Bones” Rodriguez a UFC contract.

But Rodriguez probably isn’t thinking about newly re-crowned UFC champ Jon “Bones” Jones and future title shots yet. Instead, he was just excited to not only get the win, but find out the victory was impressive enough to get a contract.

“I’m shocked. I’m just shocked,” Rodriguez told MMAjunkie after learning of his new fighting home. “But I felt it – I knew I was going to get it. I was telling myself all week, ‘I’m going to knock this dude out, and I’m going to get that contract.’ Every time I did anything – hit mits, grapple, strength and conditioning, anything I ever did – I said to myself, ‘I’m gonna finish this dude, and I’m gonna get a contract.’ Sure enough: I finished him. I got a contract. I’m on the roster now.”

Now that he’s in the UFC, Rodriguez likely will get plenty of advice from his coach, UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon, who cornered him to the win in Las Vegas. The finish kept Rodriguez’s record perfect in terms of finishing percentage – all nine of his wins are by stoppage, including seven knockouts.

Rodriguez has been busy in 2017. The win over Jones made him 4-0 in the calendar year with four knockouts. The first three came for East Coast-based CES MMA – and his wins over Hector Sanchez and James Dysard came in just seven and 39 seconds, respectively. Now, if he’s to get to 5-0 this year, the next one will be in the UFC with his biggest stakes yet. He said he hopes to make his official UFC debut in October or November – after a much-needed vacation with the $10,000 he banked Tuesday night.

But once he does debut, maybe expect the mantra he took into his DWCS 5 fight to come with him: “I was telling myself, ‘You’re going to do this. Stick to your guns. Be phenomenal, or be forgotten.’”

For more from Rodriguez after his knockout win over Jones, check out the video above.

And for more on Dana White’s Contender Series 5, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Video: Watch Dana White's Contender Series 5 winners wait to hear if they're in the UFC

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5536141967001
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Tuesday night, five more fighters picked up wins at Dana White’s Contender Series – and then had to deal with the nervous wait to find out if their victories were good enough to earn UFC contracts.

Each Tuesday during the weekly UFC Fight Pass-streamed event series, five fights take place at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas. They feature UFC hopefuls – with both up-and-comers and veterans hoping to hold on to the dream. But not everyone is guaranteed a contract, even with a victory.

On Tuesday, at Dana White’s Contender Series 5, five winners – Julio Arce, Shelton Graves, Alex Perez, Mike Rodriguez and Ricky Simon – gathered backstage to await their fates, and MMAjunkie was there to capture the anxiety-filled moments and eventual verdicts.

This week’s edition of “The Wait” featured some loose moments from Rodriguez, who talked about spending his $10,000 fight and win bonus on a beach vacation, and Julio Arce, who wanted to make sure someone got a picture of him with his four fellow winners to commemorate the occasion. But Simon was stoic and Perez quietly hopeful. And when the call didn’t come for Graves, his girlfriend joined him backstage to help start the cheering-up process.

Ultimately, the call did come for Perez and Rodriguez, who got first-round stoppage wins and impressed White enough to earn UFC contracts.

Check out the backstage video footage above.

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 5, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White's Contender Series 5 results: Mike Rodriguez, Alex Perez score UFC deals

Another two fighters punched their ticket to the UFC, including light heavyweight Mike Rodriguez (9-2), who scored a devastating knockout victory over Jamelle Jones (7-5).

The contest served as the final bout of Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series 5 event, which took place in las Vegas at The Ultimate Fighter Gym and streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.

The two were cautious to start, feeling each other out on the feet while seeking angles. Jones was forced to move in and out of range against a taller foe, eventually shooting for a takedown that didn’t materialize.

Once confident on his feet, Rodriguez launched a flying knee that landed flush, sending Jones to the floor. A few more punches on the floor sealed the result, though the finish was never in question.

In the night’s co-feature, Julio Arce (13-2) proved rugged in battling through some flashy attacks from Peter Petties (5-3) before earning a second-round TKO finish.

Petties was light on his feet to start, firing off big punches and flashing quick kicks before Arce pushed in to close the distance. Petties worked hard to battle off the cage, though Arce did a solid job of controlling the wrists and preventing much offense. They briefly reset in the center before Petties looked for his own clinch attack, though his best offense scored when they split again.

Arce began to press a bit more on the feet in the second, finding some success with powerful strikes. Petties looked to cover and return fire, but he absorbed several huge shots in the process. Clearly wobbled, Petties searched for options but eventually stumbled to the floor. He tried to clear his head, but Arce kept the pressure high and eventually landed enough for the TKO finish.

Flyweights Alex Perez (18-4) and Kevin Gray (9-4) brought it from the opening bell, and while it lasted just under three minutes, the contest proved entertaining.

The pace was quick to start, though it seemed Perez was the first one to earn respect with his strikes. Gray was content to answer in the pocket until leg kicks started to take their toll, forcing him to change his strategy and look for the takedown. Perez stuffed, latched on to an anaconda choke, and rolled and squeezed until Gray went out at the 2:54 mark of the first, earning Perez the second of two UFC deals issued.

In a thrilling bantamweight matchup, Ricky Simon (10-1) picked up a hard-fought split-decision win over Donavon Frelow (6-3).

Frelow was aggressive from the start, leaping forward with flying knees and reaching punches as he looked to push the action. Simon battled back with an early takedown, though Frelow moved quickly back to his feet, where the two battled inside. Simon continued to look for takedowns as the round played out, while Frelow countered by looking for guillotine chokes, then standing when they weren’t there.

The pace remained high in the second, with Frelow enjoying some early success with his strikes. However, Simon continued to rely on the takedown to counter and score points of his own. That said, he struggled to keep the position, and Frelow capitalized with more strikes in their time on the feet.

The two stood toe-to-toe in the third, with both men landing flush in the pocket. Both men teed off with big shots in a rousing battle before Simon took it down again and controlled the positioning until the end. It was enough for Simon to take the bout, albeit by split decision.

In a heavyweight clash to start the night, Shelton Graves (7-3) picked up a third-round TKO finish of a seemingly overmatched Everett Sims (4-1).

In a bout that dragged on longer than it should have, Graves took the fight to the floor repeatedly with relative ease and punched away as he tried to end the fight. Unfortunately, his power was lacking, allowing Sims to absorb some 172 blows (over just nine he landed) before the merciful end of the contest at the 2:20 mark of the final frame.

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 5, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White's Contender Series 5 lineup revealed, with Mike Rodriguez vs. Jamelle Jones

The lineup for the fifth edition of Dana White’s Contender Series is set.

UFC officials on Tuesday revealed the five fights that will be featured at Dana White’s Contender Series 5, which takes place Aug. 8 at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

The featured bout takes place in the light heavyweight division with Mike Rodriguez (7-2) vs. Jamelle Jones (7-4).

Additional matchups include Julio Arce (11-2) vs. Peter Petties (5-2) at featherweight, Alex Perez (17-4) vs. Kevin Gray (9-3) at flyweight, Donavan Frelow (6-2) vs. Ricky Simon (9-1) at bantamweight, and Shelton Graves (5-3) vs. Everett Sims (3-0) at heavyweight.

The main event features two fighters trending in different directions. Rodriguez has won five of his past six fights, including back-to-back victories. Jones, meanwhile, has dropped two of his past three after a four-fight winning streak.

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 5, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie