Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway

Daniel Rodriguez: Rebooking failed UFC 279 fight with Kevin Holland essential to close ‘chapter in my career’

LAS VEGAS – Daniel Rodriguez needs to get closure on his failed matchup with Kevin Holland at UFC 279.

Prior to the infamous weigh-in day shakeup on the pay-per-view card in September, Rodriguez (17-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Holland (23-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC) were booked to fight each other. When Khamzat Chimaev missed weight, though, the top three bouts were shuffled, and Holland ended up fighting Chimaev while Rodriguez took on and defeated Li Jingliang.

Fast forward to today, and Rodriguez meets Neil Magny (26-9 MMA, 19-8 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 214 co-headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, which streams on ESPN+, and Holland headlines UFC’s Dec. 3 card vs. Stephen Thompson in Orlando.

Their paths splinted in the aftermath of UFC 279, but Rodriguez said they need to merge again if he’s ever going to feel closure.

“I really want to fight Kevin Holland,” Rodriguez told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 214 media day. “I’m looking forward to fighting him in the future. I’m down to fight him next. The winner of him vs. ‘Wonderboy’ or whatever. I’m waiting for him.

“He’s a dude that I have to fight. He’s a chapter in my career that I just have to know what the f*ck is gonna happen, or what would’ve happened.”

After beating Jingliang at UFC 279, Rodriguez attempted to keep the momentum going when he accepted a fight vs. Magny on Oct. 15. He was forced to withdraw due to a staph infection in his elbow, though, and the fight was postponed. He said it was “really bad,” but said everything cleared up in time for the fight to be pushed back just a few weeks later.

He’ll now get the chance to test himself against one of the most-travelled names in the division in Magny, who holds a multitude of records to his name. Rodriguez knows what Magny brings to the table, and is ready to show he’s capable of getting through it.

“He’s a well-rounded fighter,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a true vet. He’s got the most wins in the division. He’s got all the experience. He’s not really a finisher, in that he’s known to grind out and have grueling fights. He pushed the pace and in preparation, I just worked on what I’ve worked on my whole career, of me being a striker, a really good striker, and takedown defense.

“It’s another fight. It’s another top guy that’s right in the ranks where I’m at. It’s a good matchup. I feel like taking out a guy like Neil Magny will put me in a really, really good spot as far as fighting the next tier of opponents and possibly main events.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 214.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.