The always aggressive welterweight came out guns blazing against Mike Jackson and it didn’t take long for Rodriguez to start connecting with hard punches to the body and head. After pushing the fight back to the cage, Rodriguez started unloading shots in succession until Jackson attempted to duck his head to escape, and that’s when a knee blasted him flush in the face.
Jackson slumped down to the canvas, with Rodriguez adding an extra punch for good measure, as the referee rushed in to stop the contest at 1:33 in the opening round.
“I’ve always had to prove my point,” Rodriguez said about the win. “I’m back from the dead. I proved that today. I’m back from the dead. If you don’t know, now you know.”
As the biggest betting favorite on the entire card, Rodriguez seemed to know his advantages and he didn’t pay much attention to the long reach and height advantage that belonged to Jackson. From the start, Rodriguez was aggressive and he set the tone early with a body shot that dropped Jackson to the ground momentarily.
From there, Rodriguez just kept picking Jackson apart on the feet while unleashing a combination that included a stiff uppercut that landed clean. Once Jackson started moving his head from side to side in an attempt to avoid any more damage, Rodriguez threw the perfectly timed knee that ultimately ended the fight.
The knockout serves as Rodriguez’s first UFC win and his remarkable run of first-round finishes continues — every victory on his record has come in less than three minutes.