Saturday, September 24, 2022

Rodriguez: It’s Not In My Best Interest To Fight Kevin Holland

Daniel Rodriguez may have been prepared to face Kevin Holland at UFC 279 before the card experienced some significant alterations, but he won’t be looking to reschedule the matchup anytime soon.

Rodriguez and Holland were set to meet in a 180-pound catchweight bout on the main card of UFC 279. The fight appeared to be one of the more well-matched bouts at UFC 279, but that quickly changed on the day of the event’s weigh-ins.

UFC 279 was meant to be headlined by a welterweight matchup between Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz, but when Chimaev stepped on the scale to weigh-in, he missed the welterweight limit by 7.5 pounds. The UFC had to think quickly on how to salvage the card, resulting in Holland and Rodriguez both being matched with new opponents.

The promotion elected to move Tony Ferguson from his co-main event bout with Li Jingliang to face Diaz, while Holland was matched up with Chimaev and Rodriguez was left to square off with “The Leech”.

Rodriguez ended up having a considerably better night than Holland and earned a close split decision over Jingliang. The fact that Jingliang had weighed in at 170 pounds and many fans felt he’d won the fight may not make it a marquee victory for Rodriguez, but it was certainly preferable to the first-round submission loss that Holland ended up with.

“I’m Ready To Start Climbing The Rankings”

Although he and Holland were scheduled to meet at 180-pounds, Rodriguez has competed as a welterweight for the duration of his time with the UFC.

Even if the decision was a controversial one, beating Jingliang was the fourth-straight win for the 35-year-old, and it came against the UFC’s #14-ranked welterweight contender.

Holland has already indicated he’d be open to rebooking the fight with Rodriguez, but “D-Rod” didn’t appear very interested when asked about the idea in an interview with BT Sport.

Holland was submitted by Chimaev in the first round of UFC 279’s co-main event. (Zuffa LLC)

“This fight actually was against a higher ranked opponent, so I’m sure my name’s gonna be in the rankings,” Rodriguez said. “And he just took a loss, so it probably wouldn’t be in my best interest to fight him. I mean, there’s really no reason why I should at this point other than maybe being a main-event situation. But yeah, I’m ready to start climbing the rankings and climbing the ladder in the game.”

Despite being largely dominated before Chimaev submitted him with a D’arce choke, Holland’s willingness to meet “Borz” on short notice will likely serve to bolster the fan favorite’s already considerable popularity.

Following Rodriguez and Holland’s respective bouts, UFC 279 concluded with Nate Diaz submitting Tony Ferguson via guillotine in what was possibly Diaz’s last fight for the UFC.

What do you think of Rodriguez’s comments about whether he’d want to reschedule a fight with Holland?

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