Now back home after the knockout victory, and with an extra $50,000 in his pocket from a Fight of the Night bonus, “Robocop” told MMA Fighting he expected a tough fight against “one of the fastest fighters in the division,” but was surprised with a Njokuani knee that opened a cut between his eyes early on.
“It’s hard to fight hurt, with such a deep cut, one of the worst cuts I’ve ever seen in my [life] watching fights,” Rodrigues said. “This fight was a big test for me, and I passed with flying colors.”
Rodrigues said the cut required at least 20 stitches, plus other “internal stitches,” and now he will focus on “fixing the Robocop armor to come back better.”
That said, Rodrigues guaranteed he would’ve continue fighting at the UFC APEX even if he knew his life could be in danger with an artery exposed.
“I would [have continued] because I don’t really know that the artery exposed there would cause me any problem in the future,” said the middleweight, who has now won four of five in the UFC. “Even if I knew the size of the cut, I would have continued because that wasn’t affecting me that much.”
Rodrigues thanks his cornermen Daniel Mendes and Henry Hooft for their instructions during the bout while he was “kind of blind” and struggling to see with as blood poured out. The Brazilian fighter said he will ask the UFC for further exams to make sure he’s all good health-wise.
With his third knockout victory in five octagon appearances, Rodrigues now turns his focus to the birth of his daughter Serena Rodrigues, planned for Oct. 10, and hopes to re-enter the cage at UFC 283 on Jan. 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after some much-needed time off.
“Resting is as important as training,” he said. “I’m on a good run, everything is going right, but you can’t keep pushing and pushing the body. It’s a machine and it can break. This cut came on the right time, also the bonus. I’ll focus on my daughter and my family now and come back to fighting next year.”