Ray Rodriguez is looking to earn his first Octagon victory in a bout against Rani Yahya at UFC Vegas 21.
UFC Vegas 21 welcomes back the return of Leon Edwards as he takes on Belal Muhammad in the main event. While this important welterweight tilt headlines the card, there is several fighters throughout the event that may not be as well known. Ray Rodriguez is in such a position as he makes his second official Octagon appearance.
The San Antonio, Texas native, Rodriguez is looking to rebound from a defeat that he suffered back in September of 2020 when he was stopped via submission by Brian Kelleher in less than forty seconds. Just like many other fighters in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic through Rodriguez’s career for a loop. Including opening the door for him to take that fight against Kelleher on less than extremely short notice.
“A lot of people don’t know I got the call with two days’ notice, but I didn’t know I was gonna even fight until less than 24-hour’s notice,” Rodriguez said in a profile piece on UFC.com. “Whenever I landed in Vegas, they said he was gonna fight after all because he passed the COVID test.”
To rebound in this fight, Rodriguez must defeat 10-year Octagon veteran, Rani Yahya. That is quite the test for someone looking to carve out a spot on the UFC roster.
At 33-years old, Rodriguez brings a 16-7 professional record into this contest. Rodriguez made an unsuccessful appearance on the Dana White Contender Series back in season 8, but he has had a lot of success in other organizations like LFA and Combate Americas. His resume includes a win over a rising prospect in the UFC, Jimmy Flick. Rodriguez’s victories include a diverse mix of outcomes, including three knockouts, eight submissions, and five decisions.