Coming off a loss to Devin Clark this past April in his UFC debut, light-heavyweight Mike Rodriguez was looking to get things back on track when he faced Adam Milstead at UFC on FOX 31 on December 15.
At just under the three-minute mark, Rodriguez was able to finish Milstead and pick up his fifth win in his last six bouts, and more importantly pick up his first proper UFC win.
“I felt I did really well,” Rodriguez told MMAWeekly.com. “It was great. It’s such a great feeling (getting the win). I’m still on the high. (The fight) played out exactly how I thought it would.”
Rodriguez admits following the loss to Clark in April that he made changes in his game in preparation for his bout with Milstead. And while some of the things he worked on did shine through in his win, Rodriguez feels he has much more to show in the coming year.
“I made quite a few changes,” said Rodriguez. “The fighter I was when I fought Devin was not the same. I was not the same. I didn’t think the same. I didn’t train the same way. I had to make a bunch of changes.
“Some things showed in the fight. My conditioning was really good. I was ready for a three round war. Mostly the other things will come in other fights.”
With his first UFC win in tow, Rodriguez wants to pick up his activity level and prove himself as someone to watch in 2019 in the light-heavyweight division.
“I want to be more active,” Rodriguez said. “I’d like to get in at least three fights. Two this year isn’t bad, but I felt like I could have done one more this year. I want to do three next year.
“I’m still trying to establish myself in the promotion. I’m waiting to see what they bring to me. I feel like I’m not in position to call out anybody. I’m not ranked or anything, so I’m just trying to get into the rankings.”