Daniel Rodriguez took his highest-profile fight to date on 17 days’ notice but showed no signs of being unprepared when it came time to fight.

At UFC on ESPN 30 on Saturday, Rodriguez (16-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) capitalized on the opportunity when he defeated Kevin Lee (18-7 MMA, 11-7 UFC) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

The welterweight bout was part of the UFC on ESPN 30 main card at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It aired on ESPN and streamed on ESPN+.

Lee’s most dominant offense came in Round 1. After some striking on the feet, Lee got Rodriguez on the ground and ended the round in dominant position. While Round 2 and Round 3 were competitive, Rodriguez slowly but surely pulled away. He used his crisp boxing, takedown defense, and power to get the better of Lee as the fight progressed. In Round 2, Rodriguez landed a rocking punch that stunned Lee, who was able to survive. However, Lee continued to be outpointed in Round 3.

When the judges’ scorecards were read, all three gave two of three rounds to Rodriguez. After the fight, Rodriguez called for a spot in the UFC rankings and offered his services to promotion president Dana White should he need a short-notice fighter.

Heavy hands landing to close RD 2! #UFCVegas35 pic.twitter.com/IBdLNY5xbc

— UFC (@ufc) August 29, 2021

With the win, Rodriguez adds Lee to a winning streak that already includes a knockout of Preston Parsons and a unanimous decision victory over Mike Perry. The UFC on ESPN 30 bout is one Rodriguez took on short notice when Lee’s original opponent Sean Brady withdrew due to a foot infection in early August.

As for Lee, the loss is his fourth in five fights. The former interim UFC lightweight title challenger has struggled to not only win, but stay healthy in recent years. In 2020, he underwent multiple knee surgeries before he suffered a rib injury in July. Lee has tested his luck at both lightweight and welterweight and has shifted back and forth multiple times.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 30 results include:

Daniel Rodriguez def. Kevin Lee via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Andre Petroski def. Micheal Gillmore via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 3:12
Gerald Meerschaert def. Makhmud Muradov via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2, 1:49
Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Alessio Di Chirico via knockout (head kick) – Round 1, 0:17
Wellington Turman def. Sam Alvey via split decision (28-27, 27-28, 28-27
Dustin Jacoby def. Darren Stewart via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:04
JJ Aldrich def. Vanessa Demopoulos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Pat Sabatini def. Jamall Emmers via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 1:53
Mana Martinez def. Guido Cannetti via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)


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