The middleweight bout between Brad Tavares and Gregory Rodrigues is set to be a highlight of the main card. Both fighters bring impressive skill sets to the Octagon, promising a competitive clash.
Gregory Rodrigues TKO’s Brad Tavares at UFC Vegas 86
Brad Tavares (20-8), with a UFC record of 15-8, is a seasoned fighter known for his technical striking and excellent defence. Having made his UFC debut in 2010, Tavares has faced a plethora of top contenders, demonstrating his capabilities with a solid unanimous decision win over Chris Weidman in August 2023. Tavares is recognized for his elite takedown defence and consistent striking, which has been a staple of his game throughout his career. Despite a recent two-fight losing streak, Tavares bounced back against Weidman, although questions about his aggression and ability to capitalize on finishing opportunities were raised.
Rodrigues Body of Work
Gregory Rodrigues (14-5), with seven UFC appearances and a record of 5-2 within the organization, has quickly become known for his finishing ability, with five of his wins coming by way of knockout. Rodrigues is an 8x national Jiu-Jitsu champion and has shown significant improvements in his striking, favouring a Muay Thai style complemented by powerful boxing. Despite a setback against Bruno Ferreira in 2023, Rodrigues returned to form by knocking out Denis Tiuliulin at UFC 292. His grappling credentials and knockout power make him a formidable opponent for anyone in the middleweight division.
Analysis suggests that while Rodrigues is the betting favourite, largely due to his knockout power and grappling skills, Tavares’ experience and overall defence could pose significant challenges. Rodrigues might benefit from engaging in pressure striking and leveraging his power to secure a win. Conversely, Tavares’ strategy might involve utilizing his jab and maintaining range to mitigate Rodrigues’ striking and takedown attempts. This matchup is anticipated to highlight Rodrigues’ finishing ability against Tavares’ ability to take the fight into the later rounds.
Given both fighters’ attributes, this bout is expected to be closely contested, with Rodrigues possibly having the edge due to his power and ground game. However, Tavares’ experience and defensive skills should not be underestimated, making this fight a must-watch on UFC Fight Night 236.
What Unfolded at UFC Vegas 86
These middleweights didn’t waste any time in getting into it. Rodrigues starts pushing the pace and puts Tavares against the fence landing shots, which most hit the guard. When overextending, Tavares clips Rodrigues who stumbles, but gets straight back to pressuring Tavares against the fence landing to the body and head and closing out the round the aggressor. Round one to Rodrigues.
Rodrigues in the second got straight back to where he left off, walking forward showing no respect to what’s coming back from Tavares. To this point Rodrigues attacks have been well-equipped, and he has continued to chew up the lead leg of Tavares. On a positive note for Tavares, he’s had a much better second round taking the centre of the Octagon, not allowing Rodrigues to bully him. After building momentum in the second, the round ends with Tavares on his back after a kick was caught by Rodrigues who took the fight to the canvas.
In the third Rodrigues came out like a bull possessed marching forward throwing bombs, which Tavares couldn’t take. A third-round stoppage for Robocop.
Official result: Gregory Rodrigues def. Brad Tavarez by TKO in round three.
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