Over the course of the past couple years, featherweight veteran Ray Rodriguez has had the best run of his career. After suffering a loss in January, 2015, Rodriguez has been on a tear, winning six fights in a row, with finishes in five of those victories.
What has helped Rodriguez get on his current streak is a return to enjoying fighting as well as a conscience effort to make sure his game is as developed as it can be for the level of opposition he’s facing.
“I’m falling in love with the sport again,” Rodriguez told MMAWeekly.com. “There was a time in my career where I was getting those losses, and wasn’t fighting for the love of the sport. I was just paying bills, and it wasn’t something I enjoyed doing anymore.
“Guys had been taking me down, holding me down, and not allowed me to work my game plan, which is striking. If I’m going to be at the higher echelon of the sport, I cannot allow these guys to take me down, and if they do take me down, work on getting back up or getting a submission.”
After a four month layoff, Rodriguez (11-4) will look to extend his winning streak when he makes his Legacy Fighting Alliance debut on March 10 in San Antonio, Texas, in a 145-pound main event against Rivaldo Junior (15-6-2).
“He’s a super-tough dude who has fought for some of the top promotions in Brazil, so I respect the guy,” Rodriguez said of Junior. “He’s a great Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, but this isn’t a Jiu-Jitsu match.
“He’s in a hurry to get the fight to the ground. So I’m pretty sure the bell is going to ring, I’m going to hit him with something, and he’s going to be shooting for days. I’m going to be stuffing every one of his shots, and he’s going to have to play on the feet with me, which is not going to go well with him.”
Should Rodriguez continue his recent success now in the LFA, he believes it can help provide opportunities not only for his title aspirations but also help him get to the next level.
“I’m sure the guys at the next level want to see finishes, and that’s what I’ve been able to do,” said Rodriguez. “I’ve been able to finish guys in five of my last six fights. I’m ready to show the world and show myself that I’m at a different level.
“I’m ready to take on next-level guys and show everyone that I’m at a different level. Also the LFA bantamweight title is something I’m interested in. With a win over Rivaldo, I want that LFA title, that bantamweight title, and whoever I have to beat, I plan on doing so.”