“I fought 11 times in almost a year and a half,” Rodriguez recently told Bleacher Report. “That’s more than some people fight in their career. I’m just really excited to go out and just pick myself up from where I’ve gone in my personal trials and tribulations in life. It’s great and I just have my own personal goals, the thing is that I’m just excited to execute the hard work that I’ve put in. It’s like you study for a test and you get an A on it and it feels great, that’s what I feel like I’ve done. Not every fight has gone the way I wanted them to; I wanted to finish some fights.”
Rodriguez’s recent preparations have included learning under the tutelage of famed martial artist, Steven Seagal.
“I’ve always been a fan of Steven Seagal’s. I’ve always admired his acting skills and even as I got older and started chasing some of my own personal goals. Because when I was a kid, I watched the Bruce Lee movies and going to Japan, living in Japan and training at the takada dojo, traveling to Brazil, there was somewhat a similar situation to me and Seagal. So, getting to meet a person such as him, if I can explain to you how phenomenal his energy was, I can’t explain it unless you were because you just feel how motivating he is and how presentable he is. He’s a phenomenal person and a great guy.
"He moves like a cat and when he was demonstrating a couple of moves you could feel his power and his energy. I was like ‘yeah, I’m going to pay attention’, because he was moving me around like a lightweight and you can have your opinion, but the truth is Anderson Silva gives thanks and praise to Steven Seagal. You have to be respectful to him and mixed martial arts is exactly what it is, mixed martial arts. It’s many different styles, many different forms, many different philosophies, in conjunction with all these different styles you can be a better athlete. You have to be respectful to the older martial artist.”
“I’d like to give a special thanks Jean Jacques Machado, who just gave me my second stripe in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He just got presented his red and black belt from Rickson Gracie and I’m very grateful for that. Everytime I’ve went down the wrong path, Brazilian jiu-jitsu has always been a positive influence in my life. I’m really looking forward to opening my own gym, Crescent City Boxing it's in Metairie, Louisiana in New Orleans, so I’m really excited about that. Anyone that wants to come down and train, please come down to the gym.”
Rodriguez puts the aforementioned training to the test when he returns to action in the coming weeks and looks to continue his success.
" I think my consistency of being in the game of doing the right thing over and over again is what I think is important. I’ve consistently been training and even if I was rehabbing an injury, I was staying focused on the game. Being motivated to fight and having these opportunities, it’s been a great year, and I’ve been in the gym every day. So, I really didn’t have any time to not have success, because I was where I’m supposed to be."
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