Nicky Rodriguez is well known for using his wrestling background to great effect against some of the best grapplers on the planet despite his relative inexperience in BJJ, and it’s no surprise when you see him training with one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet, Olympic bronze medalist J’Den Cox. Rodriguez never actually wrestled at an exceptionally high level but when the majority of Jiu-Jitsu athletes struggle to put together a strong standing grappling game, a solid background in wrestling can see a grappler like Rodriguez go very far indeed.
Of course his success isn’t entirely down to his wrestling background, as Rodriguez has also been fortunate enough to spend years training under John Danaher and alongside the best no gi grappler around right now, Gordon Ryan. It’s still impressive that Rodriguez is able to keep up with 2018 World Champion J’Den Cox when training with him and although Cox is clearly technically superior throughout their exchanges, Rodriguez never really looks out of his depth.
It makes sense too for Rodriguez to use truly elite wrestlers like Cox to improve his wrestling game as this was his biggest asset on his journey to a silver medal at ADCC 2019, and he’s already made clear his intentions to take home two gold medals at the 2022 World Championships. If he can shore up some of the comparatively weaker areas of his game while also increasing the wrestling skill advantage he has over his opponents, double gold doesn’t seem out of reach for Rodriguez at all.
The video of Nicky Rodriguez and J’Den Cox wrestling together was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of BJJ World: