UFC Releases Top Featherweight Contender After Turning Down Fight

Fast-rising UFC featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez is no longer a UFC fighter after declining two fights in a row, according to UFC President Dana White.

Rodriguez hasn’t stepped foot into the Octagon since a TKO loss to Frankie Edgar in May of 2017 and recently turned down fights with Ricardo Lamas and Zabit Magomedsharipov.

White apparently has lost his patience with the 25-year-old featherweight and cut him immediately after Rodriguez turned down the Magomedsharipov fight, which White revealed to the Los Angeles Times on Thursday (MMA Mania):

“The guy’s off a year, rejects a fight with (Ricardo) Lamas and then doesn’t want to fight a guy below him in the rankings? He can go somewhere else. We have no use for him.”

Rodriguez quickly rose through the featherweight ranks, compiling a 6-0 UFC record prior to the loss to Edgar. “El Pantera” had blasted through UFC legend BJ Penn with a second-round TKO beforehand.

Rodriguez is still very much a top featherweight contender, and will likely end up elsewhere before too long. Bellator is currently looking to overhaul its featherweight division, and Rodriguez could be the champion they’re looking for. “El Pantera” mixes flashy kicks and unorthodox striking for a fan-friendly style.

Where will Yair Rodriguez end up now that he’s out of a job? Is Dana just being vindictive here?

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