Prior to his fight against former lightweight champion and top featherweight contender Frankie Edgar last May at UFC 211, Yair Rodriguez was seen as a fighter who could potentially blossom into the UFC’s next big star.
Against Edgar, however, things didn’t go his way, as he was dominated and eventually finished in the second round. Recently speaking on that fight, the 25-year-old said that he simply ‘couldn’t handle the pressure’:
“I couldn’t handle the pressure. It exploded. I was being really hard on myself,” Rodriguez told ESPN in an interview. “I was becoming crazy, honestly. It was weird stuff.
“I wasn’t listening to my coaches. I was getting mad at training,” he said. “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.”
Since that fight, Rodriguez has re-located to Las Vegas, and it appears as if he’s preparing to make his return to the Octagon in the coming months. And when he does, “El Pantera” will be looking to make a statement, as he claimed that he’s ‘not a f*cking joke’:
“I just fought Frankie Edgar, who is next to fight for the title,” Rodriguez said. “That means something. I was on a six-fight win streak before that.
“I want to be the f–king 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–king joke.”
Who would you like to see the electrifying young Mexican attempt to bounce back against?