Yair Rodriguez
El Pantera

Mexico

Digs deep to defeat Jeremy Stephens
FeatherweightUFC
October 18, 2019
Rodriguez defeated Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Boston.
ANALYSIS
Rodriguez got the victory he was seeking in the rematch between the two enemies, but it didn't come easy. Yair got off to a quick start. He picked up the pace in the early going knowing this was a three-round fight. His punches looked crisp and he peppered Stephens to both the body, head, and legs. The biggest strike of the fight was a Round 2 body kick from Rodriguez which crumbled his opponent. Yair jumped on Stephens and aggressively sought the finish for quite a while before Jeremy was finally able to recover. Rodriguez looked tired and was far less effective in Round 3, but he had already done enough to secure the victory. On top of the win, he'll take home a $50,000 bonus after this bout was awarded Fight of the Night honors. Rodriguez is now 8-1 (1NC) in his first 10 UFC bouts and has victories on his resume over Stephens, Dan Hooker and The Korean Zombie. His only loss came against Frankie Edgar. Rodriguez turn just 27 years of age earlier this month. The future is bright.
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Machup with Stephens rebooked
FeatherweightUFC
September 25, 2019
Rodriguez will re-face Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night in Boston on Oct. 18, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
It's fantastic news considering last Saturday's fight was ruled a no contest due to an accidental eye poke by Rodriguez. The intriguing rematch is slated to be the main event at UFC Fight Night in Boston. Since the last matchup was in Mexico City, Rodriguez was the slight betting favorite. With the fight now moved back to the U.S., it will now likely be closer to a pick'em. Prior to last Saturday's contest, Rodriguez most recently defeated Chan Sung Jung via KO (punches) at UFC Fight Night in November 2018.
Main event ruled no contest
FeatherweightUFC
September 21, 2019
Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens fought to a no contest (accidental eye poke) at 0:15 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Mexico City.
ANALYSIS
The result is disappointing, but these things happen in this sport. It was clearly an accidental poke by Rodriguez and it was also quite clear that Stephens wouldn't be able to recover. Rodriguez was fighting in his native Mexico for the first time since UFC 180 way back on November 15, 2014.
Booked for Mexico City
FeatherweightUFC
July 26, 2019
Rodriguez will square off against Jeremy Stephens as UFC Mexico City, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Rodriguez got back on track at UFC Denver last November after taking his first UFC loss at the hands of Frankie Edgar in the previous bout and he'll aim to carry that momentum into a fight on his home turf in Mexico City. He owns a three-inch height advantage over Stephens, but the two possess an equal reach length. Rodriguez lands just under a full significant strike more per minute than Stephens, but he also absorbs a few more over the course of a bout.
Eyeing September return
FeatherweightUFC
July 22, 2019
Rodriguez is hoping to be added to the Mexico City card on September 21, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Sources report that Zabit Magomedsharipov could be a potential matchup for Rodriguez in September, as the two almost fought last fall until Rodriguez had to withdraw due to injury. Rodriguez is coming off a victory over Chan Sung Jung via KO at UFC Fight Night in Denver back in November.
Targeting fall return
FeatherweightUFC
June 6, 2019
Rodriguez continues to rehab a nose injury suffered in his victory over Chan Sung Jung last November but is hopeful for a return fight in Mexico this fall, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Coming off a five-round war that Rodriguez literally won at the last second, the featherweight prospect is now beginning to plan out the next stages of his fighting career. The 26-year-old is currently ranked No. 11 in the division and likely needs multiple wins in order to get back in the title conversation. Rodriguez is currently 7-1 in the UFC since joining the promotion in 2014.