There’s nothing better than scoring a knockout win over a rising prospect to start off the year, says strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez. After finishing Amanda Ribas at UFC 257 in an impressive manner, the Brazilian muay thai specialist could not be happier about her performance.
In an interview with Ag Fight, Rodriguez went as far as calling it the most important win of her career and believes pundits will start to pay more attention to her from now on. However, despite not being a fan-favorite due to her more discrete attitude, Marina does not intend to change her ways to gain more notoriety. Like many other fighters before her, the striker prefers to let her skills in the Octagon do all the talking.
“It was the biggest win of my career, because it was an incredible knockout. Two in the same fight, actually. It was against a fighter who was very hyped up by the fans. Even more so because I was the underdog and had little to no attention on me before the fight. That makes the win more prestigious.”
“It’s possible (that’ll gain more visibility).” Marina continued. “A lot of people say that fighting well is not enough, you must charisma, too. To be honest, what matters at the end of the day is to fight well. To win and be convincing in the Octagon. People need to understand it’s not easy being a high-level athlete. You need to watch what you 24 hours a day. Your diet, your resting time, your studies so you can always have a better training session than the one before. That’s how you evolve and go out there and knock someone out.”
Nonetheless, Rodriguez acknowledges how important and necessary it is to speak with the media. However, Marina draws the line at not letting media time interfere with her professional schedule and hopes fans can understand that.
“Of course that giving attention to the media is also important. We’re public figures, we’re aware of that when we sign with the UFC. But you can’t overdoit and let it take time away from your training or your resting time to focus more on media. It’s not like me. There are different styles. Each fighter has theirs, I respect them all. The fans need to understand this is my style, win, lose or draw.”
The UFC 257 win came right aftet the 33-year-old’s sole professional loss, a split decision defeat to former champion Carla Esparza, in July 2020. So far in her Octagon career, Marina has additional wins over Jessica Aguilar and Tecia Torres, while fighting Randa Markos and Cyntha Calvillo to a majority draw.