On the Thursday of fight week, “The Spider” appeared.
“I was so nervous that I didn’t even ask for the picture,” laughed Yanez, who luckily had one of his training partners with him who did ask for a photo with the middleweight great. Yanez then spoke up.
“Can WE take a picture,” asked Yanez, and there he is, smiling with Silva just before he had to go in to cut weight for his own fight. But after meeting Silva, that process didn’t seem so daunting anymore.
“That was the highlight of my day and it made weight cutting so much easier.”
Watch Saturday With Your ESPN+ Subscription
If that wasn’t enough, Yanez then ran into the man headlining this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event, Kevin Holland, and Holland knew who his fellow Texan was before words were shared.
“You know me?” said Yanez, and it’s more than evident that despite being 1-0 in the UFC heading into his second Octagon bout against Gustavo Lopez tomorrow, he is as much of a fan of the sport as any of the fans on social media. It’s always been that way and will likely never change.
“I started off as a fan,” he said. “That was the biggest thing for me. Growing up watching boxing, I was a fan of it, and fighters were always like role models for me. One of the biggest role models that I had was Manny Pacquiao. So the way he is, very humble and everything like that, that’s something to marvel at. Even now, I’m seeing all the people that I’ve been a fan of, and being able to train alongside those guys is pretty cool and fighting on the same card is really cool. I’m always gonna be a fan because I know how tough fighting is. I’ve done it for ten-plus years already and, to me, if you chose to entertain people by stepping into a cage, ring or Octagon and fighting, that, to me, is very commendable. You’re out there like a gladiator, you’re a warrior. To me, whoever steps in there, you’ve got all my respect and all my admiration.”