Marina Rodriguez wonders if Jessica Aguilar is nearly as good as her pre-UFC run signifies

Jessica Aguilar was seen as among the best strawweights on the planet for years, defeating opponents left and proper contained in the Bellator and WSOF cages earlier than lastly becoming a member of the UFC in 2015.

But, “Jag” hasn’t been in a position to put a profitable streak collectively on the largest stage attainable.

The American High Group product dropped a choice to Claudia Gadelha in her Octagon debut in Rio de Janeiro. Nearly a yr later, Aguilar misplaced to Courtney Casey in Dallas. Aguilar lastly picked up a win in 2018, defeating Jodie Esquibel in Boise, however returned to the dropping column months later, tapping to Weili Zhang in Beijing.

Aguilar has the chance to bounce again on Saturday, taking over Marina Rodriguez at UFC Philadelphia, however the Brazilian prospect wonders if her opponent actually was that good — or if it was a matter of competitors.

“Information present she hasn’t been in a position to carry out effectively but (within the UFC),” Rodriguez informed MMA Combating. “Really, I simply obtained within the UFC and each fighter there’s robust, a stage above regular. Perhaps she was doing nice as a result of she didn’t get within the UFC earlier. It was totally different for me too as a result of I obtained in and fought a ranked opponent. I don’t know… It is going to be a superb battle. She’s an skilled fighter and we’ll placed on a present.”

Rodriguez entered the UFC after making fast work of Rizin veteran Maria Oliveira on the Brazilian model of the Contender Sequence final August, and fought to a majority draw with Randa Markos at UFC Sao Paulo in her debut.

“That battle with Randa was a draw,” Rodriguez stated. “However it confirmed to me that each one the arduous work we’ve achieved earlier than the UFC, going 10-Zero, was well-executed and obtained us able to battle the No. 13 ranked fighter within the UFC, with a exact opposite preventing type, and win two rounds in opposition to her. We’re on the suitable path. I do know there’s no simple battle within the UFC, so will maintain working arduous.”

Rodriguez was initially booked to fulfill Alexa Grasso in February after which March, however Grasso couldn’t make to battle night time. With Aguilar stepping in on 11 days’ discover, the Brazilian expertise doesn’t see many variations between her and Grasso.

“They referred to as me to say that Grasso was injured and supplied Jessica Aguilar straight away,” Rodriguez stated. “I used to be tense for a second, however then we watched her fights to see what we must adapt, however we haven’t actually modified something when it comes to technique. We had been doing an identical gameplan for Grasso. All the pieces will probably be alright.”

Rodriguez doesn’t suppose her UFC Philadelphia bout will final three rounds, and hopes so as to add one other knockout victory to her file.

“I imagine it will likely be my probability to indicate what I can do,” stated Rodriguez, unbeaten in 11 skilled bouts with a 10-Zero-1 file. “I wasn’t in a position to present every little thing I can do after I fought Randa, however now it’s my time to impress all people. I do know that’s attainable, and I’ll do this on Saturday.”

“(Grappling) may be an possibility, however the true greatest path to victory is on the toes, perhaps the clinch,” she continued. “I’ve many choices to complete this battle on the toes. If we go to the bottom, my jiu-jitsu has developed rather a lot and (a submission is) attainable. I’ve many playing cards up my sleeve that may shock her on the bottom.”

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