Former Ultimate Fighter Championship heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez hasn't stepped into a UFC octagon since 2003 when he lost to Pedro Rizzo by unanimous decision.
However, Saturday night at Knockout Promotions' presentation of There Will Be Blood 3, Rodriguez told the OBSERVER, the time for a return to the UFC may not be too far away.
"When it's time, it's time," he said. "When that phone rings, I will prepare for that. I think I will shock the world and you will see me cutting down to 205 very shortly."
Rodriguez left the UFC in the middle of his contract to fight where more money was available, as UFC was still in its early stages of becoming the million-dollar industry it is today.
"Time heals wounds," Rodriguez says. "Some of the bridges I burned are still torn."
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Knockout Promotions says they support Rodriguez's notion to possibly re-enter the UFC.
"We know him and his management real well," Knockout Promotions Co-owner Jaymee Minner said. "Whatever he does, he will be in his corner."
Helping Rodriguez get the urge has been the support from the fans as he says they have been "nice and respectable." He also trains with UFC legend Tito Ortiz and team PRIDE. In 2006, Rodriguez competed in the super heavyweight division, weighing in at 350 pounds.
Saturday night, Rodriguez looked to be in great shape.
"Everyone can see I am close to getting in the shape I want to be in. I think the opportunity will come."
Rodriguez admits he has a lot of fights under his belt with a 35-10 record and those are a lot of miles for someone just 32 years of age. But seeing him Saturday night, he looks like he will be ready for one more go-round with the UFC.