At thirteen, Davenport, Iowa native Luke Rodriguez knew he wanted to be a champion in mixed martial arts. Eight years later, now twenty-one, Rodriguez won the Caged Aggression Mixed Martial Arts title at Caged Aggression 12: Victory this past March and taking no break at all will go on to fight for the XFS lightweight title on May 2nd at Xplode Fight Series: Anger at the Col Ballroom in Davenport, IA. And if fighting wasn’t enough to fill his day, he is also a student at St. Ambrose University and isn’t bothered at all by the busy schedule.
“It’s a full plate,” said Rodriguez. “But I just try to knock it all out.” Rodriguez has been fighting for quite awhile, but it was this past December that he really opened up a lot of eyes with his win in the co-main event of the Caged Aggression Challenger Series and with that win, secured him a main event amateur title fight, which he won, this past March at Caged Aggression 12: Victory.
“I’ve fought in a few main events,” said Rodriguez. “But I really didn’t expect to be the main event of that card with all the good fighters in Caged Aggression.” Rodriguez sees the importance of being in that position though. “It gives me more confidence that the promoter is that invested in me,” said Rodriguez. “And I love trophies and titles. The more the merrier.”
Rodriguez is set to fight again for a title on May 2nd and the fact that he didn’t take a break shows just what type of fighter he is. “Where I want to be at as a fighter, I can’t take any breaks right now,” said Rodriguez. “I’m looking to turn pro, and not fighting and just sitting around with my belt isn’t going to get me there.” With a goal to turn professional by the end of this year or in early 2015, Rodriguez is quickly making a name for himself in the Quad Cities but doesn’t forget where he came from and who he fights for. “Having my family and friends behind me is so important,” said Rodriguez. “In my last fight when I heard them cheering for me it gave me more energy to fight and leave it all there for them.” MMA and the Quad Cities go hand and hand.
It seems like one out of every five people are fighters. Rodriguez wants to set himself apart from the pack. “I go in there and I fight,” said Rodriguez. “I want people to recognize me a week later after they watch me fight and say ‘damn’ there is that guy that just put on a good fight.”
Photos Courtesy of Doug Jefford -Fresh Fotography