Andres Rodriguez: ‘I’ve just got to win’ at Combat Zone 71

14 months since turning pro, bantamweight prospect Andres Rodriguez has had nearly a perfect start off to his pro career.

In three bouts since turning pro in June of 2018, Rodriguez has gone undefeated with finishes in two of his three wins.

“The first two (wins) were awesome because I had two first round finishes,” Rodriguez told MMAWeekly.com. “But at the high levels (I’ve learned) you have to learn to adjust in a fight.

“Watching the film, practicing in this camp, switching it up during the fight if somebody is not doing this, switching up and doing that, just learning on the fly and switching up game plans (is something I learned in my first year as a pro).”

Learning is of course a big part of any fighter’s career, especially in the beginning, and for Rodriguez it’s no different. It’s perhaps to the extent he wants to push himself that might help him stand out as he moves forward.

“I’m trying to be perfect,” said Rodriguez. “I want to be immaculate; just get everything polished, cleaned up, and well rounded.

“I know it sounds weird, but when fights are won by inches and centimeters you’ve got to be perfect. Fighting scrubs, fighting high level guys, whatever it is you have to be perfect; no mistakes.”

On Friday in Manchester, N.H., Rodriguez (3-0) will look to remain undefeated when he faces Kenny Murphy (2-2) in a main card 135-pound bout at Combat Zone 71.

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“(Murphy) is a fighter,” Rodriguez said. “He’s going to bring it. He’s short, stocky, a wrestler and brawler. He’s somebody who is going to come at me and bring it.

“One thing I’ve seen from the high level guys, they make you fight. Sparring with Joe Lauzon and Rob Font, you’ve got to fight them, and that brings out the good in me.”

In addition to fighting, Rodriguez works a day job and takes care of a young daughter, making that his driving force in his career.

“What I’ve got to do is get (Murphy) out of there,” said Rodriguez. “I’ve just got to win. I don’t care about anything but winning. I have to feed my daughter. I don’t care how; I’ve just got to win.

“I’ve got a game plan and a map I’m trying to develop, maneuver my way and see which way the wind is blowing, and I have it all in my mind, but I’ve got to focus on Kenny Murphy. I can’t focus on anything else right now. I’ve got it mapped out after this fight, but for right now I’ve got to eat.”

UFC 242 Live Results: Khabib vs. Poirier (Results & Fight Stats)

UFC 242 Khabib vs Poirier live results

(Click on the fight below and then scroll down to see in-fight live stats and full results, courtesy of Fight Analytics. Full live results for the first UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier bout from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is scheduled to begin on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT.)


NOTE the early  UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier start time

  • UFC 242 main card start time: 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT on ESPN+ Pay-Per-View
  • UFC 242 prelims start time: 12 p.m. (Noon) ET / 9 a.m. PT on FX
  • UFC 242 early prelims start time: 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT on UFC Fight Pass 

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier. The event is the UFC’s first under a new five-year partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) to bring UFC events to the emirate for the next five years.

Each event in Abu Dhabi is expected to host at least one UFC title fight, and there is a big one right out of the gate.

UFC 242 features the promotion’s first and only Muslim champion in Khabib Nurmagomedov, as he headlines the fight card looking to unify his lightweight championship with the interim title held by Dustin Poirier. 

The UFC 242 headlining bout will determine the sole, undisputed UFC lightweight champion. It also marks Nurmagomedov’s first time in the Octagon since he was suspended after defeating Conor McGregor at UFC 229 on Oct. 6, 2018.

After Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor in the fourth round, he leapt over the cage to engage with one of the Irishman’s cornermen. That Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him for nine months because of his actions. 

During Nurmagomedov’s hiatus, Poirier stopped featherweight champion Max Holloway’s bid to become a UFC champ-champ, defeating him by unanimous decision on April 13 of this year at UFC 236 in Atlanta. Poirier became the interim UFC lightweight champion with his win over Holloway, earning the right to meet Nurmagomedov.

UFC 242 co-main event features a another pivotal lightweight bout, as Edson Barboza squares off with Paul Felder.

It’s important to note the early start time for UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier because of the time difference between Abu Dhabi and the United States. The main card, which airs on ESPN+ Pay-Per-View, starts at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT. The UFC 242 preliminary bouts will air on the FX Network (which is now owned by ESPN) at 12 p.m. ET (Noon) / 9 a.m. PT. The UFC 242 early preliminary bouts will air on UFC Fight Pass at 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT.

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Check out the MMAWeekly.com Rumors page for more scheduled events and rumored fight cards.

UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier results from Abu Dhabi

– – – – – UFC 242 FULL LIVE RESULTS WILL LOAD HERE ON FIGHT DAY – – – – –

UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier fight card for Abu Dhabi

Main Card (2 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV)

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov(c) vs. Dustin Poirier(ic)*
  • Edson Barboza vs. Paul Felder
  • Islam Makhachev vs. Davi Ramos
  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
  • Mairbek Taisumov vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira

Prelims (12 p.m. – Noon ET on FX)

  • Khalid Taha vs. Bruno Silva
  • Don Madge vs. Fares Ziam
  • Ottman Azaitar vs. Teemu Packalén
  • Liana Jojua vs. Sarah Moras

Early Prelims (10 a.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass)

  • Belal Muhammad vs. Takashi Sato
  • Nordine Taleb vs. Muslim Salikhov
  • Omari Akhmedov vs. Zak Cummings
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Andrea Lee
  • Zubaira Tukhugov vs. Lerone Murphy

*UFC lightweight unification bout
(c) champion
(ic) interim champion

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