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    Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

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    The_Axe_Emperor
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    Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  The_Axe_Emperor on Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:23 pm

    Life is all about second chances, and that’s what former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez is hoping for with the promotion that helped to put him on the map.

    It’s been over seven years since Rodriguez last stepped foot in the UFC Octagon, but he’s never forgot the feeling of holding that gold belt or watching the crowd rise as he pulled off a victory.

    In the subsequent years since leaving the UFC, Rodriguez has been on a roller coaster ride through both his life and his fight career. Weight increases, a stint on Celebrity Rehab, and a floundering fight schedule made Rodriguez’s prospects at a comeback nearly impossible.

    There was one person who didn’t believe that at all, however. That person was Ricco Rodriguez.

    Getting his life back on track, Rodriguez went back to training full time, cut down to 205 pounds and currently rides a 10-fight win streak. He’s hoping he can mend some fences with UFC president Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva and get the call to come home again.

    “Been a lot going on in my career. Last 10 fights, dropping down to 205, winning my last 10, just been a tough year working real hard, and I’m ready to step up to the big leagues,” Rodriguez told MMAWeekly.com. “All my past history with Dana and everyone, I just want to totally apologize and hopefully put it behind us and there’s still some great fights that the fans want to see. Hopefully all this can be possible.”

    Whatever past grievances Rodriguez and the UFC have had, he’s been willing to put in the work to prove to them he’s back. Rodriguez at his core is a throw back to the early days of Zuffa’s UFC ownership, but wants to ply his trade in today’s UFC.

    When he started in the UFC, Rodriguez remembers meeting with representatives from DirecTV before a show just to explain to them what MMA was and how it all worked. Now the sport is everywhere and growing each day, and he wants to be a part of it again.

    “The biggest thing is I was one of the guys that was one of the beginning pioneers. When I say that I say guys like Royce Gracie, I say guys like Renzo Gracie, I say guys like Ken Shamrock, who were there. I was there during that transition with guys like Tito Ortiz and Mark Kerr and (Kazushi) Sakuraba. I was there when the sport wasn’t even legalized at the time,” Rodriguez said.

    “I don’t ever want to walk away from this sport looking down at some of the things I’ve done in the past. One of the things about anybody is forgiveness, and I’ve done my hard work and with my conditioning and with my great shape and with traveling around the world and fighting, brought my record to a decent record, 45-11, and just been able to go out there and showcase my skills.

    There are still fights that Rodriguez believes could provide a good future for him in the UFC. The former heavyweight champion would love to offer Randy Couture a rematch. The two first met in 2002 and after a tough first few rounds, Rodriguez bounced back to finish Couture in the fifth.

    “I want to be able to end my career in the UFC. I think a lot of fans want to see a Ricco Rodriguez/Randy Couture, they want to see possibly Frank Mir, there’s still a lot out there they want to see me in top contendership and see if I’m even capable of doing it,” Rodriguez commented.

    “I mean I was losing that (Couture) fight for the first three rounds, I was losing on the cards. I’ll never forget the day Bruce Buffer came up to me and said ‘man, if you didn’t finish Randy Couture, you were losing the fight on the cards.’ I think we’ve both evolved as fighters, I think the fans would want to see it, and I think a lot of people would go back and check out the video or see if they can get their hands on UFC 39 on DVD.”

    The other fight that definitely interests Rodriguez is a rematch with former UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Rodriguez fought Nogueira under Pride rules in 2003. While most felt Rodriguez won the fight, he somehow lost by unanimous decisions in one of the most controversial calls in MMA history.

    “Most of all, the Nogueira fight,” Rodriguez said about fights he’d want in the UFC. “Because of the fact that I did beat Nogueira in Japan and there were no elbows allowed, and I lost that decision. I think a lot of fans want to see how that fight would end up, especially in a cage and with elbows.”

    He believes that rematches with Couture and Nogueira could become fights people would talk about down the road like in boxing with Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti. First things first, however, he has to get back to the UFC to fight either one of them.

    The road to the UFC starts with Rodriguez getting on board with new manager Ali Abdel-Aziz from Dominance MMA, who also manages UFC stalwarts like Ricardo Almeida and the legendary Renzo Gracie. Rodriguez also has a standing invite to train full time at Renzo Gracie’s Manhattan academy alongside a slew of top notch fighters.

    “I’ve talked to Renzo and he’s given me the open arms to come out there and train with his team, it’s just been a blessing in disguise,” said Rodriguez.

    Like many fighters, Rodriguez believes the UFC is the NFL of mixed martial arts. He’s been to the top of the mountain and he’s now seen the lowest valleys, and Rodriguez wants to get back to the peak again.

    “It kills me every single day when a person comes up to me and asks me when am I going to be back in the UFC? The reality is the talent has gotten a lot tougher, there’s no more freebies. The one thing I have now is experience and training with some of the top guys I always have traveling around, that’s been my plus,” said Rodriguez.

    “This would be the best end of a Rocky story. Going in there and finishing my career at the top and having a second chance. I know if I was given this opportunity, I would be able to come out on top. It’s just getting there and getting the opportunities.”


    http://mmaweekly.com/ricco-rodriguez-will-the-road-to-redemption-lead-to-the-ufc



    If he sorts the weightcut to 205 out i'm sure he can put up a good fight with most of the top 10 UFC LHW's, he'll have a size advantage against most IMO.

    I'm a huge fan of his, so obviously hope he gets the call back from the UFC, he deserves it.
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    payneNglory1
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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  payneNglory1 on Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:59 pm















    I think it would be great to see Ricco back in the UFC,I'd love to see him rematch Randy or Nog,then there's also Rothwell that I'm sure he would like to avenge his IFL loss too,I wouldn't mind seeing him fight someone like Tito at 205 either.

    I still think (or hope)he has a good bit to offer at the top level,I doubt he would be a title contender,but he is a more than capable high level gatekeeper that would be a good addition to the UFC's rosta.

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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  the_king on Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:02 pm

    payneNglory1 wrote:













    I think it would be great to see Ricco back in the UFC,I'd love to see him rematch Randy or Nog,then there's also Rothwell that I'm sure he would like to avenge his IFL loss too,I wouldn't mind seeing him fight someone like Tito at 205 either.

    I still think (or hope)he has a good bit to offer at the top level,I doubt he would be a title contender,but he is a more than capable high level gatekeeper that would be a good addition to the UFC's rosta.

    a replacment for gonzaga.
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    redmeanie77
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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  redmeanie77 on Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:42 am

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    The_Axe_Emperor
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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  The_Axe_Emperor on Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:47 am




    Brilliant!!! cheers


    About time, what weight do you think he'll be at? LHW?
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    redmeanie77
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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  redmeanie77 on Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:18 am

    I think he is too small for HW, but the article says UFC want him as a HW. He would have more success at 205.

    the_king
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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  the_king on Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:29 am

    ill carry on my statement of a replacement for gonzaga, he would be better at LHW until he came up against the top guys.
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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  Moose Stuff For Money... on Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:50 pm

    Ricco reckons the door is closed for a UFC return...

    Ricco Rodriguez wrote:No, [the report] definitely wasn’t accurate. There were some talks to possibly get into the UFC, but that opportunity is just not available, and I just don’t ever see myself returning to the UFC. Dana holds a grudge pretty well, and he has his reasons, and I don’t blame him. I understand what I did at that time, and it was a tough pill to swallow and he has every right to be upset with him…The truth of the matter is, is that I single-handedly almost tore down the UFC at one point in my career. A lot of people don’t know this, and you’ll probably be the first one that I’ll ever admit this to.

    I wore a henna tattoo in my fight against Randy Couture, and at that time, the UFC was literally just building itself, we were only at 60,000 pay-per-view purchases [per event]. The Mohegan Sun and the Indian tribe allowed that fight to go on, and the truth is, they almost stopped that fight from happening. If that would have been the case, then I would have single-handedly destroyed the UFC.

    CAGEPOTATO.COM: Because of a tattoo?

    Yeah, there was a lot behind the scenes that a lot of people don’t understand. First of all, Lorenzo Fertitta, they own casinos, so when you own a casino, you have certain laws that are very strict…If you remember this fight, Bernard Hopkins vs. Felix Trinidad, Bernard Hopkins just got out of jail, he was approached by GoldenPalace.com to wear a henna tattoo. He took the $100,000 that they gave him, and he bet it on himself. He was a 4-1 underdog and he won the fight, and he won $400,000 plus his regular purse. So when the opportunity presented itself to me, I did the same exact thing. I was a 5-1 underdog, so I gambled on myself and I won that fight. And I made more than the UFC would have ever paid me. The UFC paid me $30,000 to show and $30,000 to win, and I put all my money on myself and I won half a million.

    So there’s a lot of things that people don’t understand. And this is why Dana White will never let me back in the UFC, and I totally understand. I respect that, and it is what it is. The truth of the matter is, is that Lorenzo Fertitta came and did a walk with me right before the fight, and you know how terrifying that was when Lorenzo Fertitta walked with me? A lot of things were going on. Micky Ward came into my locker room with the Mohegan Sun commissioner, and I was like “Oh my God, Micky Ward” — I remembered his battles with Arturo Gatti.

    So a lot of things were going on in my own personal life, here I’m fighting for the UFC, but at the time I was also doing a lot of promotions for the UFC, flying around, talking with people to help explain what mixed martial arts is. I was one of the guys that helped make the sport what it is today, because I was the one going from place to place explaining that there’s rules and all this other stuff. Of course we weren’t making anything close to the money that guys are making today. I’ve never seen the paydays that these guys have seen. Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell got to see it, and I was part of that whole crew, but I never made the money they did. And part of that was my own personal fault, which I take full responsibility for. And that’s why I’m at where I’m at. So, I don’t ask anybody to feel sorry for me, and I understand why Dana White is very upset, and people have to understand that I almost single-handedly destroyed the UFC…and this is the story. And hopefully you can share it in the most polite way possible.
    http://www.cagepotato.com/exclusive-ricco-rodriguez-explains-why-the-ufc-wont-have-him-back/

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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  Sly Uses on Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:21 pm

    Rodriguez's manager, Ken Pavia, issued this statement when contacted for comment:

    "Ricco is in continuing negotiations with Bellator while hoping they will be able to make the deal. We believe there is mutual interest. It is Ricco's sincere desire to not only compete in Bellator, but hopefully end his career in Bellator."

    http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Sources-Former-UFC-Champ-Rodriguez-Not-Signed-for-Bellator-205-Pound-Tournament-30270

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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  rudeboyben84 on Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:39 pm

    Ricco diserves more than to be in Belator where there are 0 credible opponents at 205 and only one at Hw (Konrad) Moving to bellator is a shit idea IMO.

    Apart from no competition he doesnt need to be signed to an organisation that will make him sign an exclusive US contract whos fighters can be very inactive.

    Not good news. I really was hoping to see him in Strikeforce. Imagine seeing him fight SDR or Sergei....

    Ill be gutted to see him end up in Bellator. Its like a premier league team playing in the 3rd devision. Ricco is on a role and diserves more. He would be better to stay a free agent and go after Sylvia/Rizzo winner if that fight is still on. UFC are missing out big time id love to see him fight Big Nog again too, if he won he would be a in the title mix straight away...

    Ricco vs Mir for example. I dont know if I believe the story about gambling... sounds odd.
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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  Cowboys From Hell on Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:23 pm

    I think Strikeforce would be the better option for Ricco he would be a good opponent for the non GP fighters such as Cormier or reserves like Del Rosario, Griggs or Oldereem And at LHW he could fight the likes of Mousasi, Mo, OSP or Roger.

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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  Sly Uses on Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:52 pm

    rudeboyben84 wrote:Ricco diserves more than to be in Belator where there are 0 credible opponents at 205 and only one at Hw (Konrad) Moving to bellator is a shit idea IMO.
    I disagree, I think Raphael Davis at LHW and Grabowski at HW would both beat Ricco. If he did do well he'd be getting 3+ fights a year against much better competition than he's been facing, at least.
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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  payneNglory1 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:52 pm

    Well that's 3 losses in a row for Ricco now,things aren't looking so great for him lately.
    I don't think Bellator is even an option now,I think Sharkfights,BAMMA,MFC etc will be about the best offers out there for him now.

    Though no shame in his last loss IMO because the guy that beat him,is a shoe in for getting in the UFC once he sorts out his VISA issues.

    Glover Teixeira defeated Ricco Rodriguez,by TKO in just two minutes and scored his fourteenth straight victory this past sunday night in Brazil.



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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  rudeboyben84 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:24 pm

    Saw the fight, Glover is a fucking badass, he needs to be in UFC, 14 in a row, 1st round KO's over Eastman, Soko and Ricco as well as whooping some decent heavyweights. I reckon his next fight will be in UFC because he got a Visa to travel to the US or cleared to live there or something... cant remember exactly but he is good to join US promotions and was in talks with UFC this year.

    http://www.mmabay.co.uk/2011/11/28/watch-glover-teixeira-defeat-ricco-rodriguez-this-past-weekend-in-brazil-video/

    Ricco is probabally done now, Fair play he turned his life around but I think he just cant get down to 205 and be in good shape. Id agree Shark fights or Bamma can use his name as an Ex UFC champ. Pro Elite might want him?
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    Re: Ricco Rodriquez: Will the road to redemption lead to the UFC?

    Post  pinsman on Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:02 pm

    Anyone know where the footage of him, Rutten, and Kerr is? ive searched but can't find it... the video where Rutten drops his ass and Kerr is sat their laughing his head off?

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