Yair Rodriguez believes that “disrespectful” Frankie Edgar is the toughest fight in the featherweight division
Surging UFC featherweight contender Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez will return to the octagon at next month’s UFC 211 pay-per-view event in Dallas, Texas where he will square off with former UFC lightweight champion Frankie “The Answer” Edgar.
Prior to his high profile bout with “The Answer”, Rodriguez sat down with BJPENN.com’s Chris Taylor to discuss the much anticipated matchup.
“Everybody in my division is tough, don’t get me wrong. But I think Frankie Edgar is the toughest one in the top five. I think this is going to be a really good fight for me. It is a very tough test. The same as BJ (Penn), Frankie has been a world champion. He knows what it takes to win. So I think it is going to be great man. It will be amazing. I am just very happy. I feel amazing heading in to this fight. I am going to put it all on the line and nobody is going to take my dream away from me. Nobody!”
Taylor asked “El Pantera” if he would prefer to fight Jose Aldo or Max Holloway next, this if he follows through on his mothers premonition and earns a stoppage victory over “The Answer”.
“Well, like you say, I am just putting all of my energy and focus on this fight for now. All my thoughts are on Edgar. Of course I know what can happen. Winning against Frankie Edgar will put me in a really nice position. I believe it will put me in line for a title shot. But all of my energy is with Frankie right now. I am focused on what needs to get done on May 13.”
“But if you ask me to look a little bit forward, you know after this fight. I really don’t care who it is man. I’m not going against nobody in this sport. This is what people don’t understand. I don’t have anything against nobody. You know for me it is just competition. Like you say and like my coaches and family tell me it doesn’t matter, you respect everyone win or lose. You shouldn’t care who is in front of you. The more important guy to win against is yourself. Every time I step in the octagon I go to win against myself. I am not going in to Dallas to win against Frankie Edgar. I am going in to Texas to win against myself. So with that being said, I don’t care if it is Jose Aldo or Max Holloway. I am just going for that title shot, whoever has the belt. That is my goal.”
Yair believes that Frankie Edgar has made a few disrespectful statements in the lead up to this fight but vows to not let those comments sway his focus.
“You know Frankie said that I am in a win-win type of situation. He says that I am looking for all of his fame and this kind of stuff. No man! I am not looking for any of that type of stuff. I don’t want nobodies fame. I want my own fame. I want my own stuff. I think it is a little disrespectful him saying that kind of stuff. You know, because I have never said anything bad about him. He seems to think the UFC is trying to push me and that type of stuff. He makes it seem like the UFC is pushing me for this fight. I don’t know what he is thinking really. It doesn’t matter. My mom told me that I am going to knock him out and I can’t disappoint her. So I think a flying knee in the first round. Just like my mom’s dream.”
Rodriguez was most recently seen in action this past January in Phoenix, where he scored a second-round TKO victory over our namesake BJ Penn in the main event of UFC Fight Night 103.
Prior to his victory over “The Prodigy”, “El Pantera” was coming off a split-decision win over Alex Caceres at UFC Fight Night 92 in August of 2016, which was awarded ‘fight of the night’ honors.
Rodriguez has gone a perfect 6-0 since joining the UFC ranks and holds an impressive 10-1 record overall.
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