Gregory Rodrigues focused on making run for UFC middleweight title: ‘I want to be the king of this division’

LAS VEGAS – Gregory Rodrigues thinks he’s entering a new phase in his career, and one that can take him all the way to the UFC title.

Rodrigues (15-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC) picked up a third-round TKO win over longtime contender Brad Tavares (20-9 MMA, 15-9 UFC) on the UFC Fight Night 236 main card Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It was his second straight victory and likely the biggest name he’s beaten so far in his three years with the UFC.

The Brazilian is unsure what will come next, but he expects for it to be a big opportunity.

“If you see the way Dricus Du Plessis did, he started with Brad, and he did his job to get to the title,” Rodrigues told reporters at the UFC Fight Night 236 post-fight press conference. “I don’t know what the UFC is going to offer me, but I’m happy with everything they do, and they do a good job, but I already showed I belong at the top.

“My goal is to be the champion of this division. I want to be the king of this division. I’m going to take my time, and I believe the UFC already sees that, and they’re going to offer me good things.”

Rodrigues didn’t call anyone out specifically, and said he trusts the UFC will give him a jump up in competition.

As far as the win itself, Rodrigues thinks he’s reaching certain levels in his fighting career that he hasn’t reached before.

“In eight fights, I saw how I improved myself inside the octagon,” Rodrigues said. “”I feel comfortable when I’m inside that cage, and especially when I fight guys like Brad, who have a lot of experience. A fight is a fight. Numbers and experience – of course he can use that. But that’s not everything, and I see more of myself putting me in a good position right now. I’m so grateful.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 236.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie