The opportunities just keep on coming for ADCC silver medalist Nick Rodriguez.
The grappling breakout star of the year will be returning to the Polaris stage for the promotion’s twelfth installment after most recently defeating black belt Ben Dyson at Polaris 11. At Polaris 10, Rodriguez earned the Performance of the Night honor for his work against Ash Amos.
Polaris teased Rodriguez’s participation in the event in a post promoting a ticket giveaway (which you can read more about here), and now, the Jiu-Jitsu Times has confirmed that the purple belt will be going up against former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in the main event at Polaris 12.
Rockhold, who now fights in the light heavyweight division of the UFC, is a black belt of celebrated BJJ professor Dave Camarillo. Although Rockhold is most known for his work inside the Octagon, his jiu-jitsu skills are widely and highly praised, and he even won IBJJF Worlds (as a blue belt) and No-Gi Worlds (as a purple belt) in 2007.
Prior to ADCC this year, an opponent of Rockhold’s caliber may have been assumed to be too much for Rodriguez, who still has under two years of jiu-jitsu experience added to his high school and freshman college wrestling skills. But now, Rodriguez has established himself as a force to be reckoned with, having defeated the likes of Mahamed Aly, Orlando Sanchez, and Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu before being stopped by Kaynan Duarte in the +99kg finals at ADCC this year. Although he didn’t manage to submit any of his opponents at ADCC, the fact that he did so well against multiple legends in the sport suggests that even Rockhold may have his hands full when they face off.
Polaris 12 will take place in just two weeks’ time on Saturday, November 30 and can be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.