Training StyleTraining 3x times a day lifting weights/kickboxing/jiu-jitsu/wrestling
UFC HistoryGrowing up in Newark, New Jersey and Staten Island, New York, Ricco Rodriguez was introduced to fighting at an early age. His aptitude, strength and determination helped him in school sports and eventually led him to the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
Upon seeing the Ultimate Fighting Championship for the first time in 1995, Rodriguez became a big fan watching Jerry Bohlander fight. While Rodriguez is still a fan of the UFC, a lot has happened since the mid 90's. Rodriguez is now the Heavyweight Champion of the premiere MMA association in the world.
In 1998, Rodriguez traveled to Abu Dhabi to compete in the World Submission Wrestling Championships. He won the title in the 99+ kg weight class, defeating Sean Alvarez and Ricardo Morais along the way. With the success he found in grappling competitions, Rodriguez decided to move on to bigger and better things.
Rodriguez began his MMA career on September 7, 1999 at SuperBrawl 13. The competition was an 8-man heavyweight tournament, featuring many of today’s top stars. Inexperienced in his initial fight, Rodriguez lost to Bobby Hoffman by knockout at 3:13 of the first round.
Five months later in February 2000, Rodriguez returned to MMA competition and battled UFC veteran Travis Fulton. With the memory of the first loss still on his mind, Rodriguez dispatched Fulton in 4:49 when he tapped out due to an armbar.
Since earning his first victory, Rodriguez has won ten straight. He defeated Gary Goodridge by unanimous decision. On August 27, 2000, Rodriguez faced Giant Ochiai, smothering him and forcing a tap out at 6:03 of the match. Then, Rodriguez earned a judges' decision against John Marsh in December 2000. In February 2001, Rodriguez submitted Paul Buentello with a knee bar.
In his UFC 32: Showdown in the Meadowlands debut, on June 29, 2001, Rodriguez defeated Andrei Arlovski by TKO when the referee stopped the fight in round three due to Rodriguez's punches.
At UFC 34: High Voltage, on November 2, 2001, Rodriguez defeated the crafty veteran Pete Williams by TKO. Midway through the second round, Rodriguez took Williams' back and began to rain down punches, forcing referee "Big" John McCarthy to stop the fight.
At UFC 35: Throw Down, on January 11, 2002, Ricco took on former submission wrestling world champion Jeff Monson. Throughout the fight, Rodriguez showed his improved standup skills and finally ended the bout by TKO due to punches at 3:00 of the third round.
Rodriguez made his commentary debut at UFC 36: Worlds Collide on March 22, 2002. Ricco joined Mike Goldberg and Jeff Osborne in the booth as the guest commentator for the Pay-Per -View broadcast.
At UFC 37: High Impact, on May 10, 2002, Rodriguez defeated Japanese fighter Tsuyoshi Kosaka by TKO at 3:25 of round 2. Rodriguez dominated TK from beginning to end, slamming him to the mat and striking him continually from side control and the mount.
On September 27, 2002, at UFC 39: The Warriors Return in Connecticut, Rodriguez attained his ultimate goal by winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship. He defeated former two-time champion Randy Couture by verbal submission due to strikes in the fifth round.
After 10 straight victories, Rodriguez couldn't outreach 6'8" Tim Sylvia and dropped the title match at UFC 41: Onslaught on February 28, 2003 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
3-0 Pride Championships
1998-99 Abu Dhabi Champion
What is your favorite technique? Armbar.
“I feel that this will be one of my highlights in mixed martial arts. It is also a honor to fight in the #1 mixed martial arts events in the world!”