Yair Rodriguez gives Jeremy Stephens props in post-fight statement

Yair Rodriguez

Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy first met at UFC Mexico last month. Regrettably, this first fight ended abruptly with an illegal eye-poke, kickstarting a heated rivalry between the two featherweight contenders.

The pair met again in the co-main event of UFC Boston last weekend, with plenty of animosity between them. In the end, Rodriguez won this fight by decision, though Stephens certainly didn’t make it easy for him.

After this three-round war, Rodriguez and Stephens’ rivalry seems to have been replaced by a mutual respect.

Speaking on Instagram after the UFC Boston card, Rodriguez gave his former nemesis some props, and called for a featherweight title shot.

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Cuento con un gran equipo, sobran las palabras para expresar tanto agradecimiento, no solo a mis entrenadores si no también a mis amigos y a mi familia por siempre estar conmigo. A pesar de todo lo amarga que pueda llegar a ser una experiencia, siempre buscamos el lado positivo de las cosas y mejoramos como seres humanos. Había cuenta pendiente en contra de un gran rival, sabía que sería una prueba dura en mi carrera pero me siento agradecido y bendecido por Dios por la oportunidad de salir con la victoria. Enfocado y mejorando día con día, estoy seguro que llegaré a lo más alto en este mundo. Voy con todo y por todo pero no voy solo.. . CUENTO CON UN GRAN EQUIPO! . Mis respetos para este guerrero que a pesar de todo lo qué pasó antes de esta pelea al final se demostró el respeto y que esto solo parte del “business” negocio. . Yo solo busco enfrentar a lo mejor de lo mejor en la división y espero que el @ufc después de 9 peleas para ellos, dentro de las cuales 8 son victorias, 7 bonos por peleas y actuaciones de la noche, me den la oportunidad de pelear pronto por un título mundial. . I have a great team, there are plenty of words to express such gratitude, not only to my coaches but also to my friends and my family for always being with me. Despite all the bitterness that can become an experience, we always look for the positive side of things and improve as human beings. I had a pending account against a great rival, I knew it would be a hard test in my career but I feel grateful and blessed by God for the opportunity to win this victory. Focused and improving day by day, I am sure that I will reach the top in this world. I go with everything and everything but I do not go alone .. . I HAVE A GREAT TEAM! . My respects for this warrior who, despite all that happened before this fight at the end, showed respect and that this is only part of the "business" business. . I only seek to face the best of the best in the division and I hope that the @ufc after 9 fights for them, within which 8 are victories, 7 bonuses for fights and performances of the night, give me the opportunity to fight Soon for a world title.

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“Despite all the bitterness that can become an experience, we always look for the positive side of things and improve as human beings,” Rodriguez wrote on Instagram (via MMA Mania). “I had a pending account against a great rival, I knew it would be a hard test in my career but I feel grateful and blessed by God for the opportunity to win this victory.

“My respects for this warrior who, despite all that happened before this fight at the end, showed respect and that this is only part of the ‘business’ business,” Rodriguez continued. “I only seek to face the best of the best in the division and I hope that UFC after nine fights for them, within which eight are victories, seven bonuses for fights and performances of the night, give me the opportunity to fight soon for a world title.”

The UFC featherweight title will next be on the line at UFC 245, when champ Max Holloway will attempt to defend the title against streaking contender Alex Volkanovski. Do you think Yair Rodriguez deserves a fight with the winner?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/21/2019.