‘Man, what happened?’: UFC’s Gregory Rodrigues recalls being sliced open by Chidi Njokuani’s knee

·3 min read

LAS VEGAS – Gregory Rodrigues was in a brutal fight and will soon have a gnarly scar as a memento.

In the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 210, Rodrigues faced Chidi Njokuani in a wild back-and-forth battle that took home the Fight of the Night bonus. Before Rodrigues (13-4 MMA, 4-1 UFC) put the finishing touches on Njokuani (22-6 MMA, 2-1 UFC) in the second round, the attention was locked in on the gruesome cut between his eyes that could have led to an early stoppage if the cageside doctor was more cautious.

After getting sewn up, the Brazilian recalled what was going through his mind after receiving the damage-causing knee from Njokuani.

“I was dizzy, but it was very hard,” Rodrigues told reporters including MMA Junkie at the post-fight news conference. “I was a little like, ‘Man, what happened?’ And then the blood started coming down. I was kind of blind, trying to figure out what I’m going to do.”

Njokuani never relented his sharp, damaging striking, but Rodrigues was able to weather the storm. For that, he credits his corner for talking him through the rough patch of the fight to turn things around in his favor.

“They started talking to with me, and I was like, ‘No, no, let me calm down, and I started hearing, and started listening,'” Rodrigues said. “‘Move your legs,’ and stuff like that. And then I tried, and then I (came) back. Then I think, man, I need to start something. I need to throw my bombs, try to throw my hands to stop him a little bit. Because, after that cut man, everybody’s going to be confident, you know, try to finish the fight.

“And then I started to throw my hands to show him I was there, and still there. That’s what happened. I want to say thank you to my corner. Those guys helped me a lot.”

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Rodrigues pounded Njokuani from full mount until the referee saw enough to stop the fight. The win marked his second in a row, following a first-round finish of Julian Marquez in June. So far in his UFC career, Rodrigues has four wins, three finishes, and three fight night bonuses.

While Rodrigues does have a split decision loss in the promotion, this split – the one that required multiple stitches to make him whole again – put him in the most danger he’s faced.

“The cut was bad, bro, but the wins coming, and they’re worth it,” Rodrigues said. “I’m so happy, man. I was expecting a fight like that. We are inside the UFC. That’s the World Cup. The best fighters are here, and I’m one of them.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 210.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie