Win or lose, Yair Rodriguez expects to level up this weekend.
Rodriguez returns to action for the first time in over two years when he takes on former featherweight champion Max Holloway in the UFC Vegas 42 headliner on Saturday night.
There were many reasons why Rodriguez was out for so long with one of them being a six-month suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for a whereabouts violation.
Rodriguez denied it had anything to do with him avoiding being tested. Instead, it was simply a case of him not being professional and updating USADA regularly about his whereabouts.
“Yeah, I mean I guess I didn’t want to do anything in the moment because I didn’t want to make it bigger than it was,” Rodriguez said on The MMA Hour. “It was a simple mistake…I’m not using any [PEDs]. What happened to me is like I’m a nomad. I always call myself a nomad. I’m always moving from one place to another.
“What happened is that I was not professional enough or I just forgot about updating. I just lost track of it and I accumulated three strikes and that led to a suspension of six months but that was it.”
Rodriguez Hoping Holloway Can Be A Teacher
Having last competed in October 2019, Rodriguez is not only excited to be back, but excited to face someone like Holloway — regarded by many as the greatest featherweight of all time.
While Rodriguez is an underdog, he has made big strides over the last few years and is excited to see how his growth and improvement translates against Holloway.
Regardless of the result, though he still plans on winning.
“All I can think of is growth. Growth inside myself, outside myself, my body, my mind,” Rodriguez added. “I don’t really care about anything, I don’t care about winning this fight specifically. I just want to see what I’m capable of doing after this layoff of two years and after being training for so long. I just want to see what I’ve improved this time and what I need to improve.
“Max Holloway is going to be a great teacher. He has all this experience that I’ll be able to absorb that night and it doesn’t matter what happens. I don’t care what happens, I’m just going to go out there, give my all as always. That’s what you’re going to see. Two f*cking warriors getting to f*ck each other up and that’s it.”
You can watch the full interview below: