Christian Rodriguez wants Nathaniel Wood after gritty win vs. Isaac Dulgarian at UFC Fight Night 239

LAS VEGAS—Christian Rodriguez found himself in trouble early at UFC Fight Night 239 but pulled off a comeback victory.

Rodriguez (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) ended up on the wrong end of a 10-8 Round 1 score at the hands of Isaac Dulgarian. But as the fight wore on, Rodriguez began mounting a comeback, splitting the judges in Round 2, before hanging a 10-8 of his own on Dulgarian (6-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in Round 3.

“I felt a little off in the beginning,” Rodriguez told reporters at a post-fight news conference. “I had a hard time finding my rhythm, my timing. But I knew I had to dig deep in the third round.”

And did deep, he did.

Rodriguez pulled off the comeback victory with a dominant final round to win a split decision with rare dueling scores of 28-27. Even though he closed the fight on a high note, Rodriguez wasn’t exactly confident he would get his hand raised.

“I feel like you never know with the judges,” Rodriguez said. “All I know is everytime I step in the cage, I leave my heart in there. I’m always looking for the finish, I’m always trying to knock my opponent out or go for a submission, so I know I leave my heart in there.”

Rodriguez hopes to return to action at UFC 302 in June, but is also willing to get on any card before then if a slot opens up. He already has an opponent in mind, creating a matchup that he belives fans would enjoy.

“I feel like me and Nathaniel Wood would put on a good fight,” Rodriguez said. “Two good strikers, so yeah, I think it’s a fight the fans would love. … It’s a good fight, tough fight. I think it would be like Fight of the Night or Performance of the Night. He brings it, I bring it, and that’s what the fans love to see.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 239.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie