Adrian Yanez got one of the most satisfying wins of his career.
This past Saturday, Adrian Yanez had the pressure of the world on his shoulders at UFC Austin. Taking on the foul-mouthed Tony Kelley in a bantamweight contest to open the main card, Yanez made quick work of his adversary by knocking him out in round one. He was going into the fight as the fan-favorite against the bad guy. Kelley had come under fire for making comments about Brazil with racist connotations.
Adrian Yanez opens up on trash talk from Tony Kelley
Most fans were rooting for Yanez to come out on top due to Kelley’s controversial statements made while cornering Andrea Lee. A few Brazilian fighters who took issue with Kelley’s words offered to send the Texan extra cash for finishing him. Gilbert Burns made good on the promise and sent him some more dough after his victory.
The animosity between the pair was evident from the get-go as Kelley gave the middle fingers to the camera in front of a booing crowd. Yanez, who had the home-field advantage, was met with a lot of cheering but also had a lot of pressure to settle the scores.
— UFC (@ufc) June 18, 2022
During commercial before the decision was read, Tony Kelley approached Yanez and told him that he didn't go out.
Yanez: "You were out"
Kelley: "I wasn't out, you were out."
Yanez: "You were facing completely the other way"
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) June 18, 2022
During commercial before the decision was read, Tony Kelley approached Yanez and told him that he didn’t go out. Yanez: “You were out” Kelley: “I wasn’t out, you were out.” Yanez: “You were facing completely the other way”
During the post-fight press conference for UFC on ESPN 37, Adrian Yanez opened up about the trash talk from Kelley. He shared that
“Yeah, he was talking to me in the cage, he was like, ‘You keep on bringing up that stuff from Brazil, bro. You talking all that sh*t.’ And I’m like bro, I can’t control what (the press) asks me, and if y’all ask me I’m going to say what I feel. I’m not going to hold back my opinions. At the same time, it’s not me putting up the headlines”
“If he looked at it instead of reading the clickbait sh*t, he’d understand what I’m saying. Because I actually cut him some slack. But, I still look at him sideways … even now. There’s still some animosity, I don’t like that guy.”
Yanez remained focused on the job at hand
While Kelley tried to infuriate Yanez to throw him off his game plan, Yanez was determined to win and stayed focused on the task ahead.
“There was just an extra added thing to it when I was fighting him. Because in the middle when he started talking a little more sh*t I was like, ‘Oh, now I really don’t like you.’ I can get being in that competitive spot and find something to pump you up.
“He talked sh*t and I felt like I kept everything pretty cordial and he starts calling me a ‘wish version of Masvidal’, and now he wishes he didn’t say that.”
As it turns out, Yanez said that he was finding the openings when Kelley would talk trash and encouraged it.
“In my head, I was like, ‘Keep talking. Just keep talking. I’m finding my openings. Every time he opened his mouth, I saw another opening. And that’s when I started rocking him.
“I don’t know if you guys saw, but he starts talking to me, found the opening, rocked him. He kept opening up his mouth and I kept shutting it for him. So I think that was the perfect way to explain it.”
Yanez received a ton of praise for his performance and fighters joined in the celebrations to congratulate him on the win. Kelley claimed it to be an early stoppage but safe to say he received no sympathy from the community.