By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fans. Today I will be speaking with undefeated welterweight Daniel Rodriguez. Daniel is 3-0 as a professional, but is currently holding a nine fight win streak. He will be stepping into the cage at Combate Americas 13 on April 20. Let’s take a seat with Daniel and learn a little more about him.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Daniel: It means everything to me. It’s more than people realize. Growing up the way I have I want people to see me in a positive way. I want to be looked at in a positive way. I am also a father and want to be a role model.
Nick: At what age did you begin your training in martial arts?
Daniel: I began at age 25.
Nick: What disciplines do you train and what belts do you have in them?
Daniel: I train in MMA. Boxing is my base and where it all started. I have a purple belt in jiu jitsu under Eddie Bravo in the 10th Planet system.
Nick: How long have you been with 10th. Planet?
Daniel: I have been training for 5 years total and 4 of them have been at 10th Planet.
Nick: With finishes in all 3 of your professional fights coming via KO/TKO and submission do you prefer to keep the fight standing or take it to the ground?
Daniel: I am a well rounded fighter and I am comfortable wherever the fight takes me. I definitely like to stand up and exchange, but lately my fights have been going to the ground. I train to finish fights so whatever I have to do to finish. My bread and butter is my boxing though. I learned a lot training boxing such as my stance, head movement, and all the basics. No to mention every fight starts standing.
Nick: What would you say your biggest strengths are?
Daniel: I stay well rounded and am always learning. I learn something every fight and every training session. If I have to say that my cardio and my endurance. Once you get to the professional level cardio can be the difference between winning and losing.
Nick: How much weight do you usually have to cut before a fight? Do you feel the weight cut has a major impact on your strength before a fight?
Daniel: I stay healthy all the time. I am only a few pounds off of fighting weight all the time. I clean up my diet and get to fight weight fairly easy. I don’t think it affects my strength because I am aways near fight way and am healthy year round.
Nick: Since you have made this journey what advice can you give to new fighters wanting to make this a career?
Daniel: No matter what is going on in your life do not let anything steer you away from fighting. If this is what you really want to do don’t give up. There will be good and bad days. There will be ups and downs. Do not ever give up.
Nick: You fight at welterweight which is a very crowded weight class under any promotion. Have you ever considered moving up or down to create more opportunities for yourself?
Daniel: I have fought at middleweight in my amateur career. It was hard to get fights. People missing weight or fighting at catchweight. I will never turn down a fight, but I am comfortable at welterweight and plan to stay here.
Nick: You will be facing a tough opponent in undefeated Joel Champion. How much do you know about your opponent?
Daniel: I know who he is but do not know him. I do not research my opponents to much. I watched his last fight twice leading up to our fight. Fighters are always evolving so for me to watch his last fight is watching the old version of him.
Nick: Do you have a prediction for your upcoming fight?
Daniel: I know that he is undefeated and is a tough opponent. I believe that I am a level above him. I predict that I win via TKO via strikes in the end of the first round or beginning of the second round.
Nick: With a win at Combate 13, who do you have your sights set on next?
Daniel: My opponents have no names and no faces. When I step into the cage they are just the next person in the way of my progress. I know that my last opponent has been running his mouth so I would like to fight him again. I will not be his next fight though. I am already past him so he will have to beat someone to earn the chance to fight me again.
Nick: Who is your favorite MMA fighter past or present?
Daniel: There are so many great fighters it is tough to pick one. I would have to say Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell.
Nick: Daniel have you submitted tot he takeover?
Daniel: This is Daniel Rodriguez and I have submitted to the takeover.
Daniel was a great guy to talk with. Although he is only 3-0 he has a veteran mindset and I’m sure he will do big things. Make sure to tune in to Combate Americas 13. I wish Daniel all the best in his upcoming fight and in his career. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA