UFC Saudi Arabia: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Daniel Rodriguez: Full video highlights

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Kelvin Gastelum (left) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (right) took place tonight at UFC Saudi Arabia [Image Courtesy: @KelvinGastelum via X/Twitter]

UFC Saudi Arabia's Kelvin Gastelum vs. Daniel Rodriguez highlights were defined by back-and-forth action. The bout, which was originally scheduled for the welterweight division, was changed to a middleweight contest after Gastelum experienced weight-cutting difficulties.

It added an extra dimension of urgency for the former UFC interim middleweight title challenger, as Gastelum had been on a poor run of form since 2018. He was 2-6 in his last eight fights across both middleweight and welterweight.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez is on a rough patch of his own, having been previously TKO'd by Ian Machado Garry. But what of tonight? Round one saw both men start things off by throwing heat, every punch fueled by bad intentions and enmity.

Check out Kelvin Gastelum vs. Daniel Rodriguez fight highlights from UFC Saudi Arabia:

Despite Gastelum's vaunted punching power, he was unable to drop 'D-Rod,' who survived the onslaught, returning fire himself. There was very little to separate either man in round one, as their striking output was almost identical. However, come round two, the dynamic of the bout started to shift in Gastelum's favor.

The former interim welterweight title challenger punctuated the round by resorting to his wrestling tool-kit, scoring an impressive takedown. However, he failed to keep Rodriguez pinned to the mat, and didn't threaten with any submissions as 'D-Rod' was quick to work his way back to is feet.

Check out the fire-fight from UFC Saudi Arabia:

While Gastelum managed a second takedown, it led to little control time, as Rodriguez was again on his feet. Gastelum, however, landed a slick combination, low-kicking his foe out of his stance, and as Rodriguez tried to regain his footing, Gastelum cracked him over the top with a thunderous right hand.

Still, Rodriguez refused to go down, staying on his feet. By round three, though, he was tiring, which played right into Gastelum's approach, as he started the final round with immediate pressure, trying to behead Rodriguez with every shot. Gastelum scored his third takedown of the evening.

Check out Kelvin Gastelum's takedowns from UFC Saudi Arabia:

While Rodriguez got back to his feet, Gastelum took him down again, this time in an advancing position, as he secured half-guard and landed ground-and-pound to close out his UFC Saudi Arabia fight, which he won via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).

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Edited by Tejas Rathi
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