LAS VEGAS -- Ricco Rodriguez joined Michael Bisping’s camp Monday night in a brief cameo appearance at the Tapout Research and Development Training Center.
The former UFC heavyweight champion couldn’t stay for long due to prior engagements, so I’ll cut to the chase and say he looked great.
Rodriguez’s weight issues have been his main story line since he lost the title to Tim Sylvia at UFC 41 in 2003.
At one point, Rodriguez, who battled his boozing and gambling addictions publicly on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” in 2008, had ballooned to well over 300 pounds -- a far cry from the 230 pounds he’d carried in his heyday.
I didn’t think to ask Rodriguez his weight (and even if I had, I probably wouldn’t have asked anyway), but he looks to be sound in body, mind and soul now. If I had to guess, I’d say the 31-year-old fighter is back in the 260-pound range and calm and collected as ever.
Rodriguez told me he’s preparing for a fight at TPMMA’s “Armageddon ‘09” on June 27 in Tyler, Texas, then for another at the WFC on July 10 in Tampa, Fla., and yet another title bout on July 25 for Rich Clementi’s Reality Combat in Slidell, La.
That’s quite a comeback schedule.