Featherweight Yair Rodriguez was recently released from his fight contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Now the fighter has come forward with a few words on the matter.
UFC President Dana White took to social media to offer a heated message concerning Rodriguez being released from the promotion’s roster, hinting that the fighter’s refusal to accept a bout offer against Ricardo Lamas.
However, speaking on the latest edition of The MMA Hour, Rodriguez revealed that he accepted a match up against Lamas and that things were greatly more complicated than they first appeared.
“I got to talk to (UFC matchmaker) Sean Shelby and I told him I was able to fight Josh Emmett in February in Orlando, Florida, to headline that event (UFC on FOX 28). And I accepted. I stepped up, and I learned that Josh Emmett wouldn’t accept the fight, or I don’t know if the UFC didn’t want to give it to me or whatever, then I was replaced with Jeremy Stephens. Jeremy Stephens took that fight.”
“Then, after that, we sat again with the UFC and talked about a few other opponents. I talked to Sean Shelby and he told me, ‘What do you have in your mind?’ I told him I think I at least deserve a top 10 [opponent]. No matter what happens, I think I deserve a top 10 [opponent] just because of what I already showed in the UFC. I’m 6-1 in the UFC.”
“Not all the fighters in the UFC have the same record as me. I know I’m still a rising star for the sport or whatever, but I know I have done a lot already. I know [how many] fans I have inside the sport and I don’t think I have to show anybody that I’m not afraid.”
“This, for me, was an eye-opening experience.”
“I was like, okay, I’ll fight Zabit if you give me more money in LA because I understand how big of an event it is, and they said no. I was like, okay, if you don’t want to give me more money to fight him in LA, why don’t you give [the fight] to me in Russia, and there’s no need to do any negotiation for that. I want him in Russia. Why? Because he was calling me out. I’m the guy who, I never say much, I just act. I don’t have to be talking about this on my social media.
“They didn’t even want to give it to me in Russia. Then I was like, okay, you don’t want to give me more money to fight him in LA, you don’t want to give me a top-10 [opponent]. Now I’m looking — now I see how the things are going.
“I told them I will accept anyone in the top 10. I don’t need a negotiation for a top-10 [opponent]. I just think that’s what I deserved, and they didn’t want to give it to me. That was more about respect, respecting myself.”
“No hard feelings. You’ve got to move on from things. People live in the past too much. They live the past. I’ve been learning, this is one of the things that I’ve been learning: If you are living in the past, you’re depressed. If you are living in the future, you have anxiety. If you live in the present, you are happy.”
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“So I’ve just been slowly learning how to be here and live in the moment, live in the present, and don’t let any little stuff bother me. I cannot let little stuff bother me for the rest of my life.”
“This doesn’t stop here. This is the just the beginning of something greater.”