RIO DE JANEIRO – Gregory Rodrigues is hoping to get a big step up if all goes right on Saturday night.
The UFC middleweight takes on Brunno Ferreira at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is a short-notice opponent, as Rodrigues (13-4 MMA, 4-1 UFC) was originally scheduled to fight veteran Brad Tavares, who withdrew from the matchup due to undisclosed reasons.
Although Tavares is a recognized name, Rodrigues is not looking to re-visit the matchup, as he believes a win over Ferreira (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) warrants something bigger.
“I think UFC and I are on the same page,” Rodrigues told reporters at the UFC 283 media day. “I think after this fight, I don’t think Brad Tavares is the next. I’m looking to the top. My goal is the top 15 first and who they going to put me. I think they’re going to offer me something special.”
As far as strategy and approach to the fight, Rodrigues said everything remains relatively the same, so the last-minute switch wasn’t a big deal.
“It’s not changed,” Rodrigues said. “For me, he’s a short guy, strong, but I didn’t change my plan. I always think about the 15 minutes like five minutes each round. It happened before, and it was a bonus, so yeah, I’m ready to fight. I’m ready to do everything – stand up, ground, wherever the fight goes, I’m ready for it.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 283.