Rising UFC featherweight Yair Rodriguez is one of the most entertaining fighters that you will see compete in the Octagon. With his exciting striking capabilities, “El Pantera” has grown a large fan base and many are surely curious as to when we’ll see the Mexico native back in the Octagon.
BJPenn.com’s Chris Taylor caught up with Rodriguez on Tuesday and asked Yair when fans could expect to see “El Pantera” back in action.
“Well, I want to fight once before the end of this year. But I haven’t talked to the UFC yet. So I think in the next couple of weeks I will be talking to them and see when they want me to fight again.”
When asked if he had any opponents in mind for his next octagon appearance, Yair gave the following response.
“I don’t have any names yet. I really don’t know who I will be fighting next.”
Taylor asked Yair if there was any particular event (before the end of the year) that he was eyeing for his octagon return.
“Yes of course. I would love to fight at the Las Vegas card at the end of the year (UFC 219 on December 30). That would really be good. That is what I want.”
Although Yair doesn’t have a particular opponent in mind for his next scrap, he does want that individual to be ranked in the top ten of the featherweight division.
“Of course I want someone in the top ten. As you said, a lot of stuff is happening in my division. There is a lot of movement with all of these different fights going on. Like you said, I agree that Frankie Edgar will be the next man to challenge (Holloway) for the title. So we will see who is left for me to fight.”
Although he faced a tough setback in his most recent octagon appearance against Edgar, Rodriguez is focused on learning from that experience and using it as fuel in his pursuit of UFC gold.
“I have to focus on everything. Like you said, I especially have to focus on my takedown defense. But I want to get better in all aspects of the game. And I will! I will get better. You know I’m young. My career with the UFC is very young and I am already in the top ten. So it is just a matter of time. I will become better. I will become more experienced. I will become a more complete fighter, and then I will become a champion! My goal of becoming champion never has gone away. It will just take more time now. The loss to Frankie Edgar was a learning experience, that’s it. You either win or you learn. I learned. I am sure that I will meet Frankie Edgar again in the future. Especially if he becomes champion. There will be a rematch!”
Yair Rodriguez holds a 10-2 professional MMA record and is coming off a loss to former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, which took place at UFC 211 in June. The 24-year-old rising star has gone 6-1 in the UFC and will look to continue climbing the ranks in his next fight.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/26/2017.