SHARE



Yair
Rodriguez
has been out of action since October 2019, but the
featherweight contender has targeted some big fights for the second
half of 2021.

Since besting Jeremy
Stephens
via unanimous decision at UFC on ESPN 6, Rodriguez has
been forced to pull out of a proposed August 2020 booking against
Zabit
Magomedsharipov
due to an ankle injury and was then
suspended by USADA
for a whereabouts violation that sidelined
him until March.

The Mexican star told
ESPN
that he tried to find a silver lining in the extended
layoff.

“I’ve been in contact sports since I was 5 years old,” Rodriguez
said. “I think at some point, my body was going to go through
something like this, injury or something. I’ve never went through
an injury like that before. I think it’s been good for me to let my
body heal and my mind heal.”

Rodriguez, who is currently training with Donald
Cerrone
at the BMF Ranch in New Mexico, believes that
oft-targeted showdown with Magomedsharipov is inevitable. The two
were also scheduled to meet at UFC 228 in September 2018, but that
was also derailed by a Rodriguez injury.

“[Magomedsharipov] was talking a lot of crap, saying I didn’t want
to fight him and I was faking injuries and stuff like that,”
Rodriguez said. “Nobody does that. We’re all here to fight anybody
at any point. I’m sure I’ll fight him at some point, no matter
what. This is a fight that has to happen. I’m f—ing dying to
fight him with all the crap he’s talking about. His moment will
come.”

“El Pantera” has lost just once in 10 UFC appearances, with notable
wins over the likes of Stephens, Chan Sung
Jung
, B.J. Penn,
Alex
Caceres
, Andre Fili
and Dan
Hooker
to his credit. If Magomedsharipov is somehow
unavailable, Rodriguez would jump at the opportunity to fight
Max
Holloway
, who currently doesn’t have an opponent and would have
to wait until Alexander
Volkanovski
and Brian
Ortega
conclude their “Ultimate Fighter” coaching duties and
square off in the Octagon before he could get another title
shot.

“I think that would be amazing. Max has earned all my respect,
since I started fighting, before I got to the UFC. He is one of the
best pound-for-pound in history. Who wouldn’t like to fight him?
That’s how I see it. I would love to face him at some point, it
would be amazing for my career and it would make my career
grow.”


LEAVE A REPLY