Ricco Rodriguez

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This article is about the martial artist. For those of a similar name, see Rico Rodriguez (disambiguation).
Ricco Rodriguez
Born (1977-08-19) August 19, 1977 (age 37)
San Jose, California, United States
Other names Suave
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
Division Light Heavyweight (205 lb)
Heavyweight (265 lb)
Super Heavyweight (265 lb+)
Reach 77 in (196 cm)
Fighting out of Vienna, Virginia
Team American Fight Club
Rank 3rd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Years active 1999-present
Professional boxing record
Total 2
Wins 1
By knockout 1
Losses 1
Mixed martial arts record
Total 75
Wins 53
By knockout 14
By submission 27
By decision 12
Losses 21
By knockout 5
By submission 1
By decision 15
No contests 1
Other information
Boxing record from Boxrec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Ricco Rodriguez
Medal record
Men's Submission Grappling
Competitor for the  United States
ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship
Silver 2000 Abu Dhabi 2000 ADCC World Championships (+99kg)
Bronze 1999 Abu Dhabi 1999 ADCC World Championships (Absolute)
Gold 1998 Abu Dhabi 1999 ADCC World Championships (+99kg)

Ricco Rodriguez (born August 19, 1977) is an American mixed martial artist. Ricco is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Mundials World Champion and also an ADCC World Champion. He has competed in the biggest organizations in the world such as Pride Fighting Championship, EliteXC, International Fight League, BAMMA, World Extreme Cagefighting, and Bellator Fighting Championships. He is also the former King of the Cage Openweight Superfight Champion.

Early life[edit]

Rodriguez grew up in the projects in Paterson, New Jersey. He got into a lot of street fights as a half Puerto Rican/half Mexican in a primarily Italian neighborhood.[1] Rodriguez wrestled at Tottenville High School while living in Staten Island, New York. He later moved to California and began training in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Rigan and Jean Jacques Machado. He competed and won many Jiu-Jitsu tournaments before moving on to mixed martial arts.[2]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

In 1997, Ricco Rodriguez became one of the small group of Americans to win a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championship, taking the Blue Belt Absolute title.[3] He took gold in +99 kg in the first ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship in 1998, bronze in the Absolute (open weight) division in 1999[4] and Silver in the +99 kg category in 2000. That same year Rodriguez began his MMA career with a win against Rocky Batastini. He won several of his first matches before losing to Bobby Hoffman at the Superbrawl 13 event in Hawaii. He later fought in the PRIDE Fighting Championship before moving on to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Rodriguez's first UFC match was at UFC 32 against former UFC Heavyweight Champion, and formerly #1 ranked pound for pound fighter in the world Andrei Arlovski which he won by TKO. He was scheduled to fight Lion’s Den fighter and owner of one of the most vicious knockouts of the time Pete Williams at UFC 33, but the fight was postponed until UFC 34 due to an injury suffered by Williams during training.

Rodriguez went on to beat Williams, Jeff Monson (UFC 35) and Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (UFC 37) to earn a shot for the vacant heavyweight championship against future UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture at UFC 39 becoming the first person of Mexican descent to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Rodriguez was losing on the scorecard in the initial rounds. In the fifth round Rodriguez was able to achieve a ground-and-pound victory with a stoppage by verbal tapout. In his first title defense, he was knocked out by 6'8 up and coming striker Tim Sylvia in the first round, thus losing the belt.

Independent Promotions[edit]

Following the end of his UFC contract, Rodriguez fought for a number of regional and national promotions. He also gained a significant amount of weight, at one point weighing 350 pounds (160 kg). On July 22, 2006, in a rematch of their August 2005 bout in the WEC, he avenged a loss to Ron Waterman at WFA: King of the Streets. He fought as a superheavyweight, weighing in at 300 pounds (140 kg), and was quoted as saying "I'm fat but I still got skills."[5]

Following his win against Imani Lee on November 17, 2006, Rodriguez was put under indefinite suspension by the California State Athletic Commission.[6] The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Rodriguez had tested positive for both marijuana and cocaine and was subsequently given a six-month suspension for the failed drug test.[7]

On July 27, 2007, Ricco Rodriguez, in his first fight after his suspension, defeated Lloyd Marshbanks by first round TKO at MMA Xtreme 13, which was held in Puebla, Mexico. At the IFL championship finals, he lost to "Big" Ben Rothwell by unanimous decision.

Rodriguez fought in the YAMMA Pit Fighting one-night heavyweight tournament as a late replacement. He defeated George Bush III in the first round by unanimous decision, but was beaten by eventual champion Travis Wiuff in the semi-finals by unanimous decision.

Ricco Rodriguez was scheduled to replace an injured Kevin Randleman in a rematch of their UFC 35 bout against Jeff Monson at the inaugural Godz of War show.[8] That event was canceled, however, and the fight was rescheduled for the inaugural Mixed Fighting Alliance (MFA) event, which Rodriguez lost by unanimous decision.

At the 2009 ADCC qualifiers Rodriguez weighed in at a svelte 218 lb, down well over 100 lb from his peak in the mid-2000s. Rodriguez attributed his weight loss to a renewed focus and partnership with a new nutritional coach and long-time friend, Richard Sicola-Stone.

Rodriguez missed weight for his first attempt at fighting at 205 pounds at the inaugural Israel Fighting Championship event on Nov. 9. He still fought and won his fight over Daniel Tabera, however, and then promptly challenged his friend, Jeff Monson for a rubber match, to a fight at 205 pounds.[9]

Ricco Rodriguez made his BAMMA debut facing The Ultimate Fighter 10 alumni and UFC veteran James McSweeney who was also making his debut for the promotion. Dana White has claimed if Rodriguez wins this bout he will consider resigning him to the UFC. Rodriguez missed weight for the fight, weighing in a full 2 pounds over the contracted 215-pound catchweight.[10]

Ricco made his Bellator debut against the man who first defeated the internet superstar Kimbo Slice, Seth Petruzelli at Bellator 48. He lost the fight via KO (punches) in the first round after getting caught with an overhand right, and ending his 12 fight winning streak.

On April 15, 2013, it was announced that Ricco signed a 3 fight contract for Final Fight Championship.[11] His first fight for the promotion was at FFC05: Rodriguez vs. Simonič event on May 24. 2013, when he fought Slovenian Tomaž Simonič.[12] He won the fight via first round armbar.

On November 9, 2013, he lost to Denis Stojnić on Bosnia Fight Championship event by TKO after an early referee stoppage. Rodriguez immediately stood up and protested the stoppage and left the fight showing the middle finger to the referee. It was announced that they would have a rematch in 2014, also in Sarajevo, however the day after the event, the referee said he was not up to the task and the fight result was changed to NC.[13][14][15]

In his next fight, Rodriguez faced Nestoras Batzelas at Final Fight Championship 10 on December 13, 2013. He won the fight via TKO.[16]

Boxing career[edit]

Rodriguez made his professional boxing debut on October 12, 2006, beating 19-year-old Cruiserweight Brandon Baker by knock out. On July 8, 2008, Rodriguez fought his second professional boxing bout losing via split decision to Chad Davies, who came into the fight with a 0-1 record.

Other appearances[edit]

Rodriguez appeared in an episode of the History Channel series Human Weapon, in which he faced Bill Duff in a draw. He also appears in bonus footage of The Smashing Machine: The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr DVD.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Rodriguez is of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent.[18] He has a daughter and one son.[19][20]

Rodriguez has appeared on season one of the VH1 reality television show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which documented his struggle with substance abuse.[21]

On March 5, 2013, Rodriguez, 35, was allegedly pulled over around 1:25 a.m. and was reportedly booked for misdemeanor DUI. According to the report, Rodriguez was released several hours later after posting a $5,000 bail and may protest the charge.[22]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Ultimate Warrior Challenge
    • UWC Heavweight Championship (One time)
    • UWC British Heavyweight Championship (One time)
  • ADCC
    • ADCC 1998 Absolute Division - Gold Medalist
    • ADCC 1998 Over 99 kg Division - Silver Medalist

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 53–21 (1) Nestoras Batzelas TKO (punches) Final Fight Championship 10 December 13, 2013 2 3:33 Skopje, Macedonia
NC 52–21 (1) Denis Stojnić NC Bosnian Fight Championship November 9, 2013 1 4:55 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina Originally TKO loss, overturned due to early stoppage.
Win 52–21 Zelg Galešić Submission (armbar) Final Fight Championship 8 October 4, 2013 1 2:10 Zagreb, Croatia Catchweight 95 kg.
Loss 51–21 Ian Freeman TKO (punches) UCFC 5 - Legends of MMA July 27, 2013 1 2:11 Doncaster, England
Loss 51–20 Marcin Lazarz Decision (unanimous) GWC - The British Invasion: US vs. UK June 29, 2013 3 5:00 Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Win 51–19 Tomaz Simonic Submission (armbar) FFC - Final Fight Championship 5 May 24, 2013 1 3:49 Osijek, Croatia
Win 50–19 Andreas Kraniotakes Decision (unanimous) CFS 7 - Cage Fight Series 7 May 12, 2013 3 5:00 Unterpremstätten, Styria, Austria
Loss 49–19 Ante Delija Decision (unanimous) HOG - House of Gladiators 1 December 21, 2012 2 5:00 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Win 49–18 Kevin Thompson Submission (armbar) UWC 21 - Xplosion October 20, 2012 1 4:45 Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England
Loss 48–18 Stav Economou Decision (unanimous) Dubai FC 1 - The Beginning May 4, 2012 3 5:00 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Loss 48–17 Ruslan Magomedov Decision (unanimous) United Glory 15 - 2012 Glory World Series March 23, 2012 3 5:00 Moscow, Moscow Oblast, Russia
Loss 48–16 Alexander Volkov Decision (unanimous) BF: Baltic Challenge 3 February 23, 2012 3 5:00 Kaliningrad, Russia
Loss 48–15 Blagoi Ivanov TKO (retirement) CMMAT - Chekhov MMA Tournament December 24, 2011 3 3:33 Chekhov, Moscow Oblast, Russia
Win 48–14 Bashir Yamilkhanov TKO (punches) FEFoMP - Battle of Empires December 17, 2011 2 2:56 Khabarovsk, Khabarovsk Krai, Russia
Loss 47–14 Glover Teixeira Submission (punches) MMAAD - MMA Against Dengue November 27, 2011 1 1:58 Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Loss 47–13 Michal Kita Decision (unanimous) MMAA - MMA Attack November 5, 2011 2 5:00 Warsaw, Masovian Voivodeship, Poland
Loss 47–12 Seth Petruzelli TKO (punches) Bellator 48 August 20, 2011 1 4:21 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States Bellator Debut.
Win 47–11 Doug Williams Submission (rear-naked choke) SF 17 - Horwich vs. Rosholt 2 July 15, 2011 1 2:16 Frisco, Texas, United States
Win 46–11 James McSweeney Decision (unanimous) BAMMA 5 February 26, 2011 3 5:00 Manchester, Greater Manchester, England
Win 45–11 Daniel Tabera Decision (unanimous) Israel Fighting Championship - Genesis November 9, 2010 3 5:00 Tel Aviv, Israel
Win 44–11 John Juarez Decision (split) USA MMA - Stacked July 31, 2010 3 5:00 Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
Win 43–11 Bobby Martinez Submission (heel hook) AFA 4 - Parking Lot Beatdown July 17, 2010 1 1:03 Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Win 42–11 Ken Sparks TKO (punches) USA MMA - Legends May 22, 2010 1 2:32 Kinder, Louisiana, United States
Win 41–11 Travis Fulton KO (head kick) CT - Cage Thug May 1, 2010 1 N/A Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Win 40–11 Brian Ryan TKO (punches) XKL - Evolution 1 March 20, 2010 2 2:05 Ypsilanti, Michigan, United States
Win 39–11 Patrick Miller TKO (punches) STFC 10 - Annihilation February 26, 2010 2 2:20 McAllen, Texas, United States
Win 38–11 Moise Rimbon Decision (split) IAFC: Mayor's Cup 2009 November 27, 2009 3 3:00 Novosibirsk, Novosibirsk Oblast, Russia ProFC Mayor's Cup Opening Round
Win 37–11 Justin Howard Submission (punches) KOK 7: Judgement Day August 29, 2009 1 2:05 Austin, Texas, United States
Win 36–11 John Brown Submission (rear-naked choke) Reality Combat: The Return July 25, 2009 3 2:34 Slidell, Louisiana, United States
Loss 35–11 Mario Rinaldi Decision (unanimous) WFC: Battle Of The Bay 8 July 10, 2009 3 5:00 Tampa, Florida, United States
Win 35–10 Doug Williams Submission (anaconda choke) Armagedon Fighting Championships 09 June 27, 2009 1 1:02 Tyler, Texas, United States
Loss 34–10 Jeff Monson Decision (unanimous) Mixed Fighting Alliance "There Will Be Blood" December 13, 2008 3 5:00 Miami, Florida, United States
Win 34–9 Robert Beraun Decision (unanimous) Rage in the Cage 117 November 8, 2008 3 3:00 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 33–9 Rob Broughton Submission (kneebar) Cage Gladiators 9 October 4, 2008 2 3:39 Liverpool, England
Win 32–9 Titus Campbell Submission (guillotine choke) Silver Crown Fights August 8, 2008 2 3:06 Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Win 31–9 Johnathan Ivey Decision (unanimous) Xp3: The Proving Ground July 26, 2008 3 3:00 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 30–9 Chris Guillen Submission (armbar) Ultimate Combat Experience 1 June 27, 2008 1 4:30 West Valley City, Utah, United States
Loss 29–9 Travis Wiuff Decision (unanimous) YAMMA Pit Fighting April 11, 2008 1 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States YAMMA Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final
Win 29–8 George Bush Decision (unanimous) YAMMA Pit Fighting April 11, 2008 1 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States YAMMA Heavyweight Tournament Quarter-Final
Loss 28–8 Antonio Silva Decision (split) EliteXC: Street Certified February 16, 2008 3 5:00 Miami, Florida, United States
Win 28–7 Kevin Filal KO (head kick) PFP: Ring of Fire December 9, 2007 1 N/A Manila, Philippines
Loss 27–7 Ben Rothwell Decision (unanimous) IFL 2007 World Championship Finals September 20, 2007 3 4:00 Hollywood, Florida, United States
Win 27–6 Lloyd Marshbanks TKO (punches) MMA Xtreme 13 July 28, 2007 1 3:11 Tijuana, Mexico
Win 26–6 Imani Lee Submission (rear-naked choke) BIB: Beatdown in Bakersfield November 17, 2006 1 2:12 Bakersfield, California, United States
Win 25–6 Abdias Irisson TKO (punches) MMA Xtreme 7 November 11, 2006 1 N/A Tijuana, Mexico
Win 24–6 Ron Waterman TKO (doctor stoppage) WFA: King of the Streets July 22, 2006 1 5:00 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 23–6 Taylor Brooks Submission (armbar) MMA Xtreme 1 March 25, 2006 1 N/A Tijuana, Mexico
Loss 22–6 Robert Beraun Decision (unanimous) RITC 78: Back with a Vengeance January 14, 2006 3 3:00 Glendale, Arizona, United States
Win 22–5 Tyler Brooks Submission (armbar) Pro Fight League March 25, 2005 1 4:00 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 21–5 David Mori Decision (unanimous) MMA Fighting Challenge 4 December 3, 2005 3 5:00 Guadalajara, Mexico
Win 20–5 Corey Salter Submission (armbar) Ultimate Texas Showdown 3 November 26, 2005 2 0:17 Dallas, Texas, United States
Win 19–5 Jimmy Ambriz Submission (punches) WEC 17 October 14, 2005 1 4:13 Lemoore, California, United States
Loss 18–5 Ron Waterman Decision (unanimous) WEC 16 August 18, 2005 3 5:00 Lemoore, California, United States For WEC Super Heavyweight Championship
Win 18–4 Andy Montana Submission (armbar) Independent event July 15, 2005 1 1:50 Fountain Hills, Arizona, United States
Win 17–4 Ruben Villareal Submission (armbar) Extreme Wars: X-1 July 2, 2005 1 2:38 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 16–4 Scott Junk Submission (front choke) Rumble on the Rock 7 May 7, 2005 2 0:42 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 15–4 Mike Seal Submission (rear-naked choke) MMA Mexico: Day 2 December 18, 2004 1 1:06 Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
Loss 14–4 Pedro Rizzo Decision (unanimous) UFC 45 November 21, 2003 3 5:00 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States
Loss 14–3 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Decision (unanimous) Pride Total Elimination 2003 August 10, 2003 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Loss 14–2 Tim Sylvia KO (punches) UFC 41 February 28, 2003 1 3:09 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Lost UFC Heavyweight Championship
Win 14–1 Randy Couture Submission (elbows) UFC 39 September 27, 2002 5 3:04 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States Won vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship
Win 13–1 Tsuyoshi Kohsaka TKO (punches) UFC 37 May 10, 2002 2 3:25 Bossier City, Louisiana, United States
Win 12–1 Jeff Monson TKO (punches) UFC 35 January 11, 2002 3 3:00 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States
Win 11–1 Pete Williams TKO (punches) UFC 34 November 2, 2001 2 4:02 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 10–1 Andrei Arlovski TKO (punches) UFC 32 June 29, 2001 3 1:23 East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States
Win 9–1 Paul Buentello Submission (kneebar) KOTC 7 - Wet and Wild February 24, 2001 2 4:21 San Jacinto, California, United States Won KOTC Openwieght Superfight Championship
Win 8–1 John Marsh Decision (unanimous) Pride 12 December 9, 2000 2 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 7–1 Giant Ochiai Submission (smother) Pride 10 August 27, 2000 1 6:04 Saitama, Japan
Win 6–1 Gary Goodridge Decision (unanimous) Pride 9 June 4, 2000 2 10:00 Nagoya, Japan
Win 5–1 Travis Fulton Submission (armbar) KOTC 2 - Desert Storm February 5, 2000 1 4:49 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 4–1 Sam Adkins Submission (forearm choke) Armageddon 2 November 23, 1999 1 4:32 Houston, Texas, United States
Loss 3–1 Bobby Hoffman KO (punches) SuperBrawl 13 September 7, 1999 1 3:13 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 3–0 Steve Shaw Submission (armbar) Rage in the Cage 6 July 10, 1999 1 1:34 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 2–0 Rocky Batastini Submission (armbar) Extreme Cage March 25, 1999 1 4:58 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 1–0 Scott Adams Decision Extreme Cage March 25, 1999 3 4:00 Phoenix, Arizona, United States

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chris Robinson (December 17, 2008). "The Everlasting Effect of Ricco Rodriguez". .com/. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Ricco "Suave" Rodriguez". PriceFC. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 
  3. ^ "IBJJF Mundials results 1997". www.ibjjf.org. Retrieved Feb 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ "ADCC 1999 Absolute". http://www.adcombat.com/. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  5. ^ Bliss, Kim. "WFA 07/21/2006". BoutReviewsUSA.com. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 
  6. ^ Cotterill, Andy (January 12, 2007). "Suspension forces Ricco off Rumble In the Cage". Sherdog.com. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 
  7. ^ Trembow, Ivan (February 16, 2007). "In-Depth: Commission Hearings for Randleman, Yvel, Alves, Toughill, & Carvalho". MMAWeekly.com. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Rodriguez to replace Randleman against Monson". MMAFighting.com. June 5, 2008. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Former UFC Champion Ricco Rodriguez Sets Up Bout With Jeff Monson". MMAWeekly.com. November 9, 2010. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  10. ^ "BAMMA 5 Weigh-in Results and Pics: Paul Daley and Ricco Rodriguez Miss Weight". MMAWeekly.com. February 25, 2011. 
  11. ^ "FFC potpisao ugovor s bivšim UFC prvakom Riccom Rodriguezom!". FightSite.hr. April 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ Bivši UFC-ov prvak Ricco Rodriguez debitira za FFC u Osijeku (Croatian)
  13. ^ Čudnom sudijskom odlukom Stojnić savladao Rodrigueza
  14. ^ Katastrofalna odluka suca u Sarajevu: Stojnić pobijedio Rodrigueza! (Croatian)
  15. ^ Sudac koji je poklonio pobjedu Stojniću: Moja odluka je poništena, pogriješio sam! (Croatian)
  16. ^ "Final Fight Championship 10 Official Results". mixedmartialarts.com. December 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ Ristow, Richard (December 25, 2003). "The Smashing Machine DVD Review". MMARingReport.com. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 
  18. ^ Frias, Daniel (July 21, 2006). "Ricco ready for the next chapter". Press-Telegram. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Interview with Mr Suave, Ricco Rodriguez". TRIPOD.com. 2001-04-26. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  20. ^ "Positive energy helps Ricco Rodriguez battle the odds". TBO.com. 2009-07-10. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  21. ^ "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, Season 1, Cast Bios". VH1.com. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 
  22. ^ http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Report-ExUFC-Heavyweight-Champ-Ricco-Rodriguez-Arrested-on-Suspicion-of-DUI-50655

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Josh Barnett
UFC Heavyweight champion
September 27, 2002-February 28, 2003
Succeeded by
Tim Sylvia