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Rodrigo Nascimento eyeing “a big win” against Derrick Lewis at UFC St. Louis (Exclusive)

Published at :May 8, 2024 at 11:00 PM
Modified at :May 8, 2024 at 11:00 PM
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(Courtesy : UFC)

Akash Dhanagaran

The Brazilian MMA star currently holds a record of 11-1-0 (1 NC)

Rodrigo Nascimento is a Brazilian Mixed Martial Artist, who is currently signed with UFC and fights in the Heavyweight division. He holds a record for 11 wins and 2 losses in his 13 fights 7 is ranked #15th in the UFC Heavyweight rankings. Rodrigo is all set to face UFC Heavyweight #12 Derrick Lewis in his first-ever main event on May 11, 2024 at UFC on ESPN 56.

Ahead of the Heavyweight bout, Nascimento sat for an exclusive interview with Khel Now and discussed a lot about his upcoming fight. Here is the detailed transcript from the Q&A session with the Brazilian Heavyweight fighter.

How excited are you to main event UFC on ESPN 56?

“This is my first main event, that’s too different. Too different for sure. The preparation is hard. I’m gonna fight five rounds. I am ready, I am excited you know. I am ready for Saturday. For sure, it will be a big win”.

Your opponent for the Night, Derrick Lewis is more experienced and has big numbers on his records. What’s your strategy to overcome the experience factor?

“He’s the guy who has more knockouts in the UFC. He is a beast for sure. I respect him. He is a dangerous guy, he has dangerous hands… He can put someone down. But, I have the game plan to beat him. I can beat him in the ground, I can beat him in five rounds. I can knockout him, you know. In one way or another I’m gonna fight the way to beat him. I’m going to get this door for sure.”

This is your first five-round fight, what’s your plan? Are you planning to take it to the fifth round or do you have plans to finish him too soon?

“My plan is just to beat him, I don’t know when. We can fight five rounds. I cannot knockout or finish him in the first round. Let’s see. The fight’s not easy, but I have my game plan & I’ll find a way for sure”

You are into MMA from a very young age, what motivated you to enter into this profession?

“I have my first coach, “Stone” Everton Rabelo de Andrade. I used to go to LAN House, where you can go to play a video game in Brazil, if you don’t have video games in your house. My parents were too poor at that time, so I had to go somewhere to play video games.

This guy was there, he was the security guard and he always invited me to train. So one day I accept & train, and this changed my life. Unfortunately he passed away in 2012, it was two days before one of my fights. This guy changed my life for sure. I think he helped me a lot with all the motivation. His name is Everton Rabelo de Andrade. His nickname is ‘Stone’”.

Who is your dream opponent?

“My dream opponent? I don’t have a dream opponent. I don’t have someone like I want to fight against, but anyone UFC gives me, to get my title, I have to accept for sure. I just use it like the steps to go in there”

How important is this fight for you?

“This fight is super important for me. I always see that your next fight is always the most important fight. This guy is the next step to enter the top 10 for me. Everything I think now is him & Everything I know now is him. I will beat him.”

What’s your goal for 2024?

“I want to fight more than two times this year. This is what I want. This is my goal for this year.”

Any message to Derrick Lewis?

“I don’t have any message to my opponent. The only message I have for him is let’s sort it in inside the cage”

Any message to your fans?

“Saturday will be a big fight. Everyone go there and support me. ‘Inshallah’ I will pick a big win & It’ll be a big fight. I hope I’ll get the $50K bonus.”

Watch UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Nascimento on 12th May 2024 from 4:30 AM IST onwards LIVE on Sony Sports Ten 2 SD & HD, Sony Sports Ten 3 SD & HD (Hindi), Sony Sports Ten 4 SD & HD (Tamil & Telugu).

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