Middleweight boxing champion Canelo Alvarez is undoubtably one of Mexico’s biggest professional athletes. Interestingly enough, ahead of his upcoming title defense against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr this Cinco De Mayo weekend, UFC Prospect Yair Rodriguez believes he can actually become a bigger star in Mexico than Canelo is.
Ahead of that fight, streaking UFC featherweight Yair Rodriguez spoke to MMAJunkie to explain why he feels he can become a bigger star in Mexico than Canelo!
“What is happening to me, this is not luck. I work hard every day — like, really, really hard. My coach is here; he would slap me in the face if I lied. Every single aspect of my game, I work on every (expletive) day. I wake up thinking about it, I eat thinking of it, and I train thinking all my life is around just one thing, and that’s to become the best fighter in the world. That’s it.”
“I can be bigger (than Alvarez),” Rodriguez said. “Mexican people, they already have a lot of boxing stars. But they don’t have an MMA star in Mexico. It’s just me. I’m going to be that star. I’m already a star in Mexico, but I’m going to be even bigger than that, because I have all the Latin American market behind me, and part of the United States market. I have all these advantages.
“A lot of people from Brazil and Russia and Europe, they follow me; they send me messages and follow me. I feel blessed.”
Rodriguez of course is currently gearing up for his upcoming scrap with top ranked featherweight contender Frankie Edgar next weekend at UFC 213, where he hopes to keep his unbeaten streak in tact against the former lightweight champion.
Rodriguez has earned praise from fans throughout his career for being an exciting fighter, most recently defeating BJ Penn in early 2016 via TKO, becoming the first man to knock the UFC Hall of Famer down.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/6/2017.