It wasn’t the outcome that Penn and his fans were looking for as Rodriguez was able to pick up a second round TKO stoppage over the former two-division UFC champion.
Rodriguez spoke with the media following the biggest win of his career.
“I was ready to die to win tonight, and thanks God, I won against a legend, B.J. Penn,” Rodriguez said (transcribed by MMA Fighting).
“I talked to him after the fight and he said, ‘hey man, no disrespect, this is part of the game. I just said all that stuff because it’s part of the strategy, no disrespect.’ I told him, hey man, listen, I know it’s part of the strategy. We all do the same thing in different way, so I’m not mad at you, he’s not mad at me. I respect him even more right now, now that I’ve fought him. I know he’s a legend. He’s a powerful guy, and I’m pretty happy to have the victory tonight.”
Regarding the stoppage that came in the second round, Rodriguez felt that referee “Big” John McCarthy called it off at the right time.
“I don’t think [it was a late stoppage], and less with a guy like B.J.,” said Rodriguez. “He’s a legend. When I started punching him on the ground, he was moving. I saw him moving. So I was actually being careful of him throwing up an [upkick] or grabbing me with a submission. I moved and I started hitting him again, and whenever I saw the referee stopping the fight, it was just an amazing moment. But I don’t think they should’ve stopped the fight before.”