Marina Rodriguez was not pleased with how the judges scored the result of her UFC debut fight against Randa Markos, at UFC Sao Paulo, on September 22. After three rounds, the bout ended up scored as a majority draw, with just one judge awarding the win to the Brazilian.
Rodriguez spoke to Bloody Elbow after the event, and she made it clear that she didn’t agree with the scorecards. She felt that she did enough to win rounds two and three, while her opponent wasn’t effective enough to score a 10-8 in the first.
“In my opinion, when I watched the fight, I lost the first round by 10-9 and won the other two by 10-9,” Rodriguez explained. “Because in the first round, all she did was hold me down. She couldn’t really develop anything else. In fact, we already knew she would do exactly what she did in the first round. I made the mistake of letting her take me down, but that didn’t occur in the following rounds, because I reversed it quicker. In order to get the win it’s simple, you can’t be taken down or knocked out.”
The draw marked the first time in her MMA career that the UFC newcomer didn’t come out of a fight with a win. With a perfect 10-0 record under her belt, Rodriguez guarantees the result was not a case of UFC jitters.
“I felt no pressure. I never do. I can control myself very well. If an athlete can’t control that, he’ll freeze by the gym door.”
A later starter, Rodriguez began her MMA career when she was already 28 years-old. Now, at 31, she doesn’t believe having less experience than most of her opponents will hold her back in the UFC. In fact, Marina claims she came into the sport at just the right time.
“I started at the right moment. With an experienced mind and in my physical prime,” Rodriguez said. “If I can stay fighting at the higher level for five more years, I intend to have already won the belt. That’s my goal, that’s the plan.”
Marina Rodriguez earned a shot in the UFC after TKOing Maria de Oliveira Neta in the second episode Dana White Contender Series Brazil. And while she didn’t get the win in her UFC debut, a competitive draw with a ranked opponent suggests that she could very well fast track her way up the division in the not too distant future.