Updated: August 24, 2013

BY Rodolfo Roman @romandh

Cuban American mixed martial artist Carlos Rodriguez (0-1) had a successful amateur career and he hoped to carry the momentum into his pro debut in January.

However, his first fight inside a pro cage didn’t go as plan as he lost by way of unanimous decision to Jean Bellefleur.

“I took that loss as a learning experience,” he said. “I made a lot of mistakes in that fight. I wish I’ve worked on them in training, but it makes me a better fighter this time around.”

Rodriguez will be searching for his first pro victory and he will get the chance to do so at the inaugural CFA Fight Night 01 at Bongos Cuban Café in Miami Sept. 11. Tickets on sale He will meet Luis Hernandez (0-1) who also lost his pro debut on the same card where Rodriguez lost. “I don’t know much about my opponent and it doesn’t concern me,” he said.

“All I know it’s time to train hard for this fight and September 11 is my time to shine.” The American Top Team Kendall standout said he took time off from the cage because of a job. “I was absent from the cage do to the last job I had. I was working full time Monday through Saturday so I didn’t have time to train,” he said.

The former amateur titleholder said he is excited to fight in front of a home crowd. “Fighting in Bongos feels good,” he said. “Its always good when you fight surrounded by your love ones.

There is all that positive energy you get when they’re screaming your name. It feeds me and helps me a lot.” Currently, he trains with UFC fighters Alex Caceres and Yoel Romero and Olympic medalist Alexis Vila.

The Cuban born fighter said is counting the days to CFA Fight Night 01 and he is humbled fighting for CFA. “Like I’ve said before, it is an honor fighting for the best mma promotion in South Florida, which is CFA,” he said.

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