In a revealing conversation on the JAXXON Podcast, hosted by former UFC champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Brazilian jiu-jitsu heavyweight sensation Nicky Rodriguez opened up about an intriguing offer that could have significantly shifted his career trajectory. Jorge Masvidal, the dynamic force behind Gamebred FC, extended a proposition to Rodriguez: to step into the world of bare-knuckle MMA. This offer, which ultimately did not materialize, shines a spotlight on the evolving landscape of combat sports and the unique opportunities it presents to athletes.
Jorge Masvidal, a distinguished figure in the MMA community, launched Gamebred FC in 2021. The promotion has rapidly grown in stature, hosting its sixth event and attracting heavyweights of the sport, including the legendary Roy Jones Jr. It’s in this burgeoning landscape that Masvidal saw potential in Rodriguez, a BJJ star with a reputation for excellence and a competitive edge honed through years of grappling battles.
Rodriguez’s revelation on the podcast was candid and insightful, shedding light on the complexities of transitioning between combat sports. He shared, “I actually had Masvidal offer me a pretty decent check to do bare knuckle MMA. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, but anything is open in the future. I would have to at least dedicate like six months to a year to striking before I even thought about hopping in the cage.” This statement not only speaks to the high regard in which Rodriguez is held but also his prudent and measured approach to his career.
The BJJ maestro’s journey in combat sports has been marked by adaptability and ambition. Starting with wrestling in his youth, Rodriguez transitioned to BJJ, achieving considerable success with silver medals at ADCC and cementing his status as a top-tier competitor. His consideration of MMA, as revealed in the podcast, isn’t a surprise but a natural progression of his combat sports narrative. “I think about it every day. I think I would do well. I do know that it would take a substantial amount of time to develop the striking and technique to compete at the highest level,” Rodriguez reflected, indicating both his enthusiasm and realistic grasp of the challenges ahead.
Rodriguez’s aspirations aren’t confined to the MMA cage or BJJ mats. His athletic versatility has seen him successfully try out for WWE and entertain the idea of boxing matches with minor celebrities. This diverse range of interests portrays Rodriguez as an athlete unafraid to explore and conquer new arenas.
As for Gamebred FC, the recent Gamebred FC 6 event offered a showcase of talent and excitement. Former UFC fighters graced the card, with the highlight being the inaugural heavyweight championship clash between Roy Nelson and Alan Belcher. Belcher emerged victorious in a split decision, crowning him as the heavyweight champion.
The event wasn’t short on action, with the co-main event featuring Randy Costa and Jason Knight in a stunning TKO victory for ‘The Zohan.’ Chase Sherman’s first-round elbow knockout over Carl Seumanutafa further underscored the event’s intensity. Other notable fights included victories for Brandon Davis, Curtis Millender, Junior Maranhao, Alex Nicholson, Francisco Trinaldo, and Hector Lombard, each showcasing the depth and diversity of talent within Gamebred FC.
As for Nicky Rodriguez, his future remains an intriguing question mark. His admission of Jorge Masvidal’s offer to join the ranks of bare-knuckle MMA warriors paints a picture of a combat sports landscape where boundaries are constantly pushed and new opportunities arise. Whether Rodriguez decides to make the MMA world his next battleground or opts for a different path, his journey remains a compelling narrative in the ever-evolving tapestry of combat sports.