We haven’t seen Yair Rodriguez since his lost to Frankie Edgar in the second round in May of last year at UFC 211. After stacking up six-fight win streak — eight if you count his non-UFC wins before signing — suddenly it was back to the drawing board for the hyped prospect. It is a place that Edgar has put many hopeful contenders, what they do once they are sent back there makes a difference in their careers. It seems like Yair Rodriguez is making all the right moves, figuratively and literally.
“I’ve been analyzing myself and have come to realizations on what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. I went back home to Mexico, where my family opened a business less than six months ago. I’ve been building some apartment buildings there. I’m just taking some time for myself, and that’s why you haven’t seen me. I just fought Frankie Edgar, who is next to fight for the title. That means something. I was on a six-fight win streak before that. I want to be the f-cking best, and I will show it. I am confident. People around me, who have seen me train, they will tell you. I’m not a f-cking joke.”
Who you got? pic.twitter.com/7UIxkm7qkI
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) May 12, 2017
“People may say I took the Frankie fight too soon — I’m 25 years old and been in martial arts for 20 of those. I know what I’m talking about. Of course, Frankie Edgar’s experience was a factor in that fight, but I have to be ready. If I’m fighting at the top, I have to be ready. I’m not going to make excuses. I couldn’t handle the pressure. It exploded. I was being really hard on myself. I was becoming crazy, honestly. It was weird stuff. I wasn’t listening to my coaches. I was getting mad at training. I thought I was right about certain stuff. I think during the process of growing and becoming a star, you just stop trusting a lot of people. I started putting myself in a bubble and it really affected me. That’s why I wanted to take time and refocus.” — Yair Rodriguez speaking to ESPN.
After a hard reset, Yair Rodriguez has decided to move to Las Vegas and will take advantage of the UFC’s Performance Institute. He’ll receive state-of-the-art training and be monitored by the best in the game. Whenever he returns though, he is sure to have the same target on his back as before, but better equipped to deal with it. After a handful of wins, we could end up eventually seeing a rematch with Edgar depending on where both their paths end up. It will be interesting to see it all unfold.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/21/2018.