M-1 Global returns to Atlantic City this Saturday, and besides the final rounds of a number of multi-weight tournaments, fans will be treated to the masterful pugilistic stylings of New Jersey fighter Jose Rodriguez. Rodriguez, long considered one of the sport’s pioneers around these parts, was always that guy a promoter could turn to who’d be willing to fight anyone at anytime (promoter: “Jose, I need someone to fight a Tyrannosaurus Rex. You down?” Jose: “Of course. Give me 200 tickets.”). Consequently, this willingness led to a number of losses – losses that make for one heck of a deceptive record. You see, Rodriguez is dangerous both with his fists and with his submissions, and is capable of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in nearly any scenario. Therefore, to help paint a more accurate picture of the man who’s fought in just about every Northeast promotion ever, MMA Journalist has compiled a list of his greatest hits.
- Rodriguez was a regular at BAMA FightNight, the Garden State’s seminal fight show, and even made the trek out to Long Island to compete at Vengeance at the Vanderbilt.
- Rodriguez fought for the Ring of Combat belt back in 2003 at ROC 3, and he went the distance with James Gabert. At one point Rodriguez knocked Gabert unconscious, but Gabert woke up when he hit the floor, and after delivering an ungodly beating Rodriguez simply ran out of gas.
- In an attempt to give their cards some local flavor, the Mixed Fighting Championship brought Rodriguez in to face Reality Fighting champ Lance Everson. Everson was bigger – a light-heavyweight to Rodriguez’s middleweight frame – and considered the favorite. Rodriguez put him to sleep with an arm-in guillotine in a minute and a half.
- The next installment of the Mixed Fighting Championship featured a Team USA versus Team Japan theme, and Rodriguez was paired up against karate champ Yuichirou Tsuchida. When the referee yelled “Go!” Rodriguez ran over to the Japanese fighter’s side of the ring and simply clobbered him with punches. The ref waived the bout off at 31 seconds.
- Rodriguez took on Baltimore-based Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rep Tenyeh Dixon at Combat in the Cage back in 2006. Dixon is a tall, lanky fighter and he possessed a significant reach advantage. Rodriguez’s answer to that reach advantage: a flying heelhook (think: Ryo Chonan vs. Anderson Silva) in a minute and 19 seconds.
- Three losses to future UFC competitors followed (Dan Miller, John Howard and Marc Stevens), but Rodriguez bounced back this summer with an armbar over Rob Morrow at the MMA Mayhem event at Great Adventure. This one took about a minute, and it was very nearly a double-armbar (Morrow got one arm out at the last second).