Yair Rodriguez is itching to return soon.
The exciting featherweight contender hasn’t competed since October 2019 when he outpointed Jeremy Stephens in their highly-anticipated rematch.
The Mexican was then set to compete against Zabit Magomedsharipov in August last year only for an ankle injury to rule him out.
He would also get suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for six months until March of this year due to not reporting his location to them.
Naturally, this has led to plenty of frustration for both Rodriguez and his fans. That said, he is looking at the positives from his long layoff.
“I’ve been in contact sports since I was 5 years old,” Rodriguez told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto in a recent interview. “I think at some point, my body was going to go through something like this, injury or something. I’ve never went through an injury like that before.
“I think it’s been good for me to let my body heal and my mind heal.”
As for when he can compete next?
“El Pantera” wants to compete as soon as possible though he doesn’t have any dates in mind. As for the opponent? Ideally, it’s the champion in Alexander Volkanovski.
But that seems unlikely so Rodriguez will take the highest-ranked opponent he can get.
“In an ideal scenario, I would like to face the champion, right?” Rodriguez added. “That’s the fight everybody wants. But from there, just going back in the rankings. I would take it as they come. Who would I like to fight? The champion. If not, the No. 1-ranked guy. If not, No. 2. If not, No. 3.
“At this point, it doesn’t matter who I fight, because winning my fight would mean fighting for a title next. So, to be honest, I’m here to fight anybody. This is what we do… this is what I love to do.”
Rodriguez Dying To Fight Magomedsharipov
Of course, the fight everyone wants to see is Rodriguez taking on Magomedsharipov and that definitely interests the former.
Especially as the Dagestan native has been talking quite a bit.
“Just to be clear, he was talking a lot of crap, saying I didn’t want to fight him, that I was faking injuries and stuff like that,” Rodriguez said. “Nobody does that. We’re all here to fight anybody at any point. I’m sure I’ll fight him at some point, no matter what.
“This is a fight that has to happen. I’m f*cking dying to fight him with all the crap he’s talking about. His moment will come when it has to come.”
Hopefully, we get to see him Rodriguez in action in the coming months — even if it’s not against Magomedsharipov.