Yair Rodriguez isn’t ruling out a potential move to lightweight down the road.
‘El Pantera’ is preparing for an interim 145-pound world championship fight against Josh Emmett. With that said, the 5’11” featherweight took some time to discuss his future, regardless of the outcome at UFC 284. During an interview with TMZ Sports, Rodriguez was asked about considering moving up to 155 pounds later in his career. He responded by saying:
“As I’m getting older, I think that’s more realistic every year that passes. So, probably, yeah, there will probably be one day where I decide to go to 155 pounds. It’s gonna be a lot easier on my body… I’ll probably do a lot better in that division.”
Rodriguez has earned an opportunity to compete for a UFC title after twelve fights with the promotion. He last fought in July 2022, taking out Brian Ortega in the first round when Ortega suffered a freak shoulder injury. The Mexican-born fighter is now matched up against Emmett, who has won five consecutive fights to make himself undeniable for a championship fight.
Watch Yair Rodriguez’s interview with TMZ Sports below:
Yair Rodriguez breaks down the stylistic matchup with Josh Emmett, predicts a knockout
Yair Rodriguez vs. Josh Emmett has the potential to steal the show at UFC 284. Emmett is a hard-hitting savage who has no quit in him. Meanwhile, Rodriguez is an unorthodox striker with creativity, making him difficult to prepare for. During the same interview, ‘El Pantera’ had this to say about the stylistic matchup between him and his upcoming opponent:
“It’s as simple as the art of boxing. Hit and don’t get hit. That’s it. I’m gonna try to be there, be smooth, quick, hit, and don’t get it… This is what I do for a living. Of course, it’s easier to say than do, but I’m sure whenever you prepare yourself good, you go in there and do your work easily, so that’s what I’m planning to do.”
Rodriguez was then asked how he envisions beating Emmett. The 30-year-old responded by saying:
“I see myself winning by knockout. I envision myself doing a knockout in this fight. Of course, it’s always easier to say than do. ”
Rodriguez and Emmett have scratched and clawed their way to the top of the division. Both fighters are unsure if they will ever earn another title shot, so they plan to make the most of their opportunity. On February 11, these elite 145-pounders will go toe-to-toe with the chance to change their lives forever.