Dana White’s Contender Series Grad Showcase | Marina Rodriguez

UFC News

In the first round, Rodriguez was being controlled on the mat, with Ribas working in her guard for most of the round. But as is the case for all UFC fights, every round starts on the feet, and the second round gave Rodriguez another chance to keep the fight upright and showcase her striking.

And that’s exactly what she did.

Unloading a vicious right hand, Rodriguez dropped Ribas, who appeared to be almost completely out. Thinking referee Herb Dean stopped the fight, Rodriguez began walking to her corner before realizing Ribas has momentarily recovered and was back to her feet. Rodriguez immediately began throwing heavy combinations and shortly had Ribas nearly out on her feet before Herb Dean stepped in.

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Her next bout wasn’t any easier, this time facing plenty of pre-fight challenges before ever stepping foot in the Octagon. Challenging Michelle Waterson, both fighters agreed to fight at flyweight due to the timing of the bout being rescheduled and weight cutting implications.

Rodriguez also spent 20 hours traveling on the Wednesday and Thursday prior to the event because of visa related restrictions getting into the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Capping off a strenuous fight week, competing in a new weight class, Rodriguez delivered. Showcasing her well-rounded striking game that had steadily improved in both accuracy and power since her debut, Rodriguez was able to get the better of most exchanges through three rounds. But in her first UFC main event, Rodriguez had to dig deep as the fight entered the fourth and fifth rounds.

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