Kaynan Duarte Vs. Nicky Rodriguez To Headline F2W 129 In Philadelphia

It’s not often that a black belt star is scheduled to face a blue belt prodigy in a jiu-jitsu promotion’s main event, but hey, Nicky Rodriguez is a terrifying human, and Seth Daniels is a promotor who knows how to cause a stir.

Fight 2 Win has scheduled a main event match between blue belt ADCC qualifier Nicky Rodriguez and 2019 World Champion Kaynan Duarte. The two will face off in a no-gi heavyweight bout at F2W 129, which will take place in Philadelphia next month.

The matchup seems mismatched on the surface — Duarte has quickly gone from being a black belt rising star to just being a black belt star, quickly accumulating a long list of titles in his relatively short time since being promoted. In addition to winning Worlds this year, he also won Pans, the UAEJJF World Pro, and the Kasai Pro 5 Grand Prix. He’s also won both of his Fight 2 Win matches so far.

Rodriguez, on the other hand, is “just a blue belt” who’s only been training for about a year. So why is he facing off against an athlete of Duarte’s caliber? Well, he got third place at the ADCC East Coast Qualifiers as a white belt with just six months of jiu-jitsu training, then qualified for the prestigious event just a few months later as a blue belt. Since F2W doesn’t have any blue belt championship titles at the time, Rodriguez competed for (and won) the Fight 2 Win purple belt super heavyweight title. He’s made such a name for himself that the promotion Sub Stars created the “Nicky Rod Challenge,” which Rodriguez subsequently won.

When asked why he thought Rodriguez was a good opponent for the very dominant Duarte, Daniels’ reply was simple: “He’s ranked #6 in the world. ‘Nuff said.”

You can watch Duarte vs. Rodriguez, plus many more exciting matches when F2W 129 streams live on FloGrappling on October 18!


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