It was a battle of two top-five featherweight standouts as No. 2 ranked Yair Rodriguez squared off with No. 5 ranked Josh Emmett for the UFC interim featherweight championship. Winner in three of his last four, including a victory over former title challenger Brian Ortega, Yair Rodriguez is on the cusp of capturing UFC gold. Standing in his way at UFC 284 was heavy hitter Josh Emmett. Riding a five-fight win streak, Emmett stepped into the Octagon for the biggest fight of his career on Saturday night.
Yair Rodriguez immediately came out establishing his kicks. First working the front kick to keep distances, Rodriguez uncorked a nasty body kick that clearly hurt Emmett in the early going. Emmett responded later in the round with a solid right hand that sent Rodriguez reeling. Both fighters had their moments in a very close first round, but the second was much more clear as Rodriguez’s well-rounded striking was on full display as Emmett continued to swing big for a one-hitter quitter.
Emmett was able to pressure Yair Rodriguez to the canvas and attempted to deliver some ground and pound, but with less than a minute to go in the second, Emmett got careless and Rodriguez was able to catch him in a triangle choke. Cinching it in, Emmett had no choice, but to tap out.
Official Result:Yair Rodriguez def. Josh Emmett via submission (triangle choke) at 4:19 of Round 2