You know you’ve made it (or at least are on the fast track to “making it”) in jiu-jitsu when a promotion issues a challenge in your name, and that’s exactly what Renzo Gracie blue belt prodigy Nicky Rodriguez experienced over the weekend at Sub Stars.
The Florida-based BJJ promotion featured numerous up-and-coming jiu-jitsu athletes over the weekend at their competition, and one of their unique ideas involved having the internet choose three opponents to challenge Rodriguez. $7,000 in possible prize money was at stake, with the jackpot starting at $1k and doubling every time Rodriguez won and resetting back to $1k if he lost.
Of course, everyone knew that this was no easy call to action. Rodriguez, who has a wrestling background, earned bronze at the ADCC trials as a white belt with six months of jiu-jitsu experience, then later qualified for the elite event as a blue belt with nine months of jiu-jitsu experience. Now a Fight 2 Win champion as well, Rodriguez earned the honor of being the target for the “Nicky Rod Challenge” at Sub Stars, and blue belt Lucas Lirra, brown belt Roosevelt Sousa, and 10th Planet standout black belt Quentin Rosenzweig were chosen as his opponents.
Yet again, Rodriguez proved that he really is worth the hype by defeating all three opponents and winning his own challenge.
With prize money like this and a creative new challenge to add to their resumes, we wonder if we’ll soon be seeing any more big names step up to challenge Rodriguez at the next Sub Stars event.
Correction: This post initially misstated the name of one of one of Rodriguez’s opponents, who was switched out for Sousa.