UFC Vegas 35 Main Card: Kevin Lee vs Daniel Rodriguez: Prediction and Analysis

Published 08/27/2021, 11:03 AM EDT


UFC Vegas 35 takes place this weekend with some exciting matchups up its sleeves. A featherweight clash between Edson Barboza and Giga Chikadze will headline the event. Apart from that fight, there is another clash in the welterweights that would excite fans; the high octane clash between Kevin Lee and Daniel Rodriguez.

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‘The Motown Phenom’ Lee would hope to make a strong return after not fighting for more than a year. The last time he entered the octagon, it was against reigning UFC lightweight champ, Charles Oliveira. So far, he has picked up 18 wins and incurred six losses in his career. Out of these 18 wins, 3 have come via KO/TKO, 8 via submissions, and 7 via decisions.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – JUNE 25: Kevin Lee celebrates after his submission victory over Michael Chiesa in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on June 25, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Rodriguez, meanwhile, has stepped up for this fight on notice after Sean Brady withdrewb. He defeated newcomer Preston Parsons in his last fight at UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Moises in round 1.

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He has so far picked 15 wins and incurred 2 losses. Out of those 15 wins, 8 have come via KO/TKO, 4 via submissions, and 3 via decisions. He is currently on a 2 fight win streak and will look to get his 3rd win in quick succession.

Kevin Lee vs Daniel Rodriguez- Analysis

If we look at their physical stats, ‘The Motown Phenom’ measures 5’9″ in height and has a reach of 77″ Meanwhile, ‘D-Rod’ stands 6’1″ in height and has a reach of 74″.

‘The Motown Phenom’ lands 3.90 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy of 42%. He absorbs 3.23 significant strikes per minute with a defense rate of 51%. He averages 3.21 takedowns per minute with an accuracy of 43%. The American has a takedown defense of 75%.

‘D-Rod’ meanwhile, lands 8.07 significant strikes with 48% accuracy. He absorbs 5.71 significant strikes at a rate of 56%. He averages 1 takedown per 15 minutes with an accuracy of 55%.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 30: Daniel Rodriguez celebrates after his decision victory over Gabe Green in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 30, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Lee hasn’t fought in more than a year since his loss to Oliveira. He would hope no ring rust presents itself on the match day. Rodriguez, meanwhile, has been impressive since his debut and has only lost once in the octagon. He has an impeccable striking game compared to Lee’s and can also hold his own on the canvas.

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‘The Motown Phenom’ has struggled lately on the canvas grind. His opponents have matched him on strikes but have done significantly well on the ground. The size and pace of Rodriguez here look to be too much for him. Also, Lee has lost fights from winnable positions. With ‘D-Rod’ well versed in claiming the right moments, it looks like a win is heading his way.

Final Prediction: Rodriguez via second-round T(KO)

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

552 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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