It was a short time ago that Yair Rodriguez was earmarked as the next featherweight star in the UFC.
Young 25 year Mexican flashy, fan-friendly fighting style, Rodriguez had been hailed as one of the premier rising talents at 145 pounds since he entered the UFC in 2014 fresh off a victorious run on The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America. That vast untapped potential made it all the more stunning last week when the UFC abruptly cut “El Pantera” from the organization.
Dana White claims that Rodriguez turned fight again Diego Lima and Zabit Magomedsharipov down.
Rodriguez denies all the claims Rodriguez appeared Monday on The MMA Hour to explain his side of the story regarding his unexpected release from the UFC.
Rodriguez, who hasn’t competed since a May 2017 loss to Franky Edgar, attributed much of his year-long absence to personal matters that he had to resolve with his family back home in Mexico. Rodriguez said it wasn’t until February that he was once again settled enough in his life to start fielding fight offers for a potential return to the Octagon.
“I got to talk to (UFC matchmaker)Sean Shelby and I told him I was able to fight Josh Emmett in February in Orlando, Florida, to headline that event ” Rodriguez explained Monday on The MMA Hour. “And I accepted. I stepped up, and I learned that Josh Emmett wouldn’t accept the fight, or I don’t know if the UFC didn’t want to give it to me or whatever, then I was replaced with Jeremy Stephens. Jeremy Stephens took that fight.