UFC Fight Night 56 Newcomer Breakdown: Rodolfo Rubio

Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at Mexican featherweight Rodolfo Rubio as he debuts against fellow debutant Diego Rivas  at UFC Fight Night 56.   Rodolfo “Fito” Rubio Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico Age: 27 Height: 5’5” Reach: 65” Weightclass: Featherweight Camp: Bonebreakers MMA Team Career Record: 12-6 Key Wins: None Key Losses: None Background The Mexican featherweight began training in MMA at 19 and has been fighting professionally since 2008. He appeared on the first season of TUF Latin America winning in his opening bout via submission, but losing in the semifinals to Yair Rodriguez via TKO. All of Fito’s 12 wins have come inside the distance with the majority by submission. Most of his fights have taken place in Mexico, but he has fought in Brazil twice (the location of Saturday’s fight card) albeit losing both bouts. Strengths

  • Strikes in combination
  • When he uses leg kicks, can be effective
  • Surprising submission game
  • Good ground transitions to set up submissions/get back to his feet
  • Aggressive on the ground looking for chokes and for armbars


  • Small frame for the weightclass
  • Doesn’t check leg kicks
  • Bit wild with his striking leading to inaccuracy
  • Striking defense overall leaves a lot to be desired
  • Can be too aggressive on the feet leading to takedowns
  • Takedown defense is very poor leading to him easily being put on his back
  • Can be physically controlled by better grapplers in the division

  0RubioGrade     Matchup with Diego Rivas In his debut in the UFC, Rubio will take on fellow TUF Latin America debutant Diego Rivas. The Chiliean will have a significant reach advantage of four inches in this bout. Rivas is a pretty  decent grappler with good technique and should be able to take Rubio to the ground with relative ease. The Chilean is putting in the proper work to become a better fighter. He’s training in wrestling at Reign (under Mark Munoz) and working on his submission game at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu with Eddie Bravo. In terms of the striking, both fighters like to push forward. Rubio strikes with better combinations, but Rivas hits with more power. Rivas should control the first round and the majority of the fight. His size advantage in this bout should be a real factor as he muscles Rubio to the ground to score damage from top control. Rubio’s most likely way to win is to transition on the ground into an armbar to secure a submission win like he did against Alexander Torres on TUF. If he’s unable to get the submission, Rivas should get the win.   UFC Ceiling Rodolfo Rubio is the first fighter from TUF Latin America to get a full fight in the UFC; most of the other fighters will fight later in November at UFC 180 in Mexico, City. Rubio has a decent offensive submission game in which he can catch some fighters. However, his poor defensive wrestling and lack of strike defense will make it difficult for him to get wins in the octagon. He’s a small featherweight with only a 65 inch reach and he could use a move to bantamweight where physically  he would have a better chance to compete.   Videos Check out Rodolfo Rubio in some of his recent fights: Rodolfo Rubio vs. Cesar Plomera   Rodolfo Rubio vs Felipe Douglas

Written by Jay Primetown

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