Ricco Rodriguez (born August 19, 1977) is an American mixed martial artist. He is a former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion and has also competed in PRIDE Fighting Championship, EliteXC, International Fight League, World Extreme Cagefighting and King of the Cage. He holds notable wins over Andrei Arlovski, Jeff Monson, Randy Couture, Paul Buentello and Rob Broughton.
Rodriguez wrestled in high school while living in Staten Island, New York. He later moved to California and began training in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Rigan and Jean Jacques Machado. He competed and won many Jiu Jitsu tournaments before moving on to MMA.
In 1997, Ricco Rodriguez became one of the small group of Americans to win a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championship, taking the Blue Belt Absolute title. He won the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship in the Absolute (open weight) division in 1998. In the following year Rodriguez began his MMA career with a win against Rocky Batastini. He won several of his first matches before losing to Bobby Hoffman at the Superbrawl 13 event in Hawaii. He later fought in the PRIDE Fighting Championship before moving on to the Ultimate Fighting...
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