Top-ranked featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez was released from his UFC contract after refusing a second fight in a row, according to the UFC at least. Rodriguez was coming off of a disappointing TKO loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC 211, but before that \u201cEl Pantera\u201d was on an eight fight win streak, with six of those victories in the UFC. Now essentially a free agent, Rodriguez is finally telling his side of the story on why he parted ways with the UFC and how everything really went down: I got to talk to (UFC matchmaker) Sean Shelby and I told him I was able to fight Josh Emmett in February in Orlando, Florida, to headline that event (UFC on FOX 28). \u201cAnd I accepted. I stepped up, and I learned that Josh Emmett wouldn\u2019t accept the fight, or I don\u2019t know if the UFC didn\u2019t want to give it to me or whatever, then I was replaced with Jeremy Stephens. Jeremy Stephens took that fight. \u201cThen, after that, we sat again with the UFC and talked about a few other opponents. I talked to Sean Shelby and he told me, \u2018What do you have in your mind?\u2019 I told him I think I at least deserve a top 10 . No matter what happens, I think I deserve a top 10 just because of what I already showed in the UFC. I\u2019m 6-1 in the UFC. Not all the fighters in the UFC have the same record as me. I know I\u2019m still a rising star for the sport or whatever, but I know I have done a lot already. I know fans I have inside the sport and I don\u2019t think I have to show anybody that I\u2019m not afraid.\u201d To hear Dana White and the UFC tell it, Rodriguez was starting to decline fights. However, the Mexican featherweight prospect says that\u2019s not how it went down, insisting he offered his services in a rematch against Edgar at UFC 222, but the spot ultimately went to Brian Ortega. Rodriguez conceded that negotiations broke down between the UFC, and that\u2019s what lead to their parting ways: "They said Ricardo Lamas, then I said yes to Ricardo Lamas,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cI accepted to fight Ricardo Lamas, but then I later learned that he didn\u2019t take the fight with me. He decided to fight (Mirsad) Bektic instead. Then, during that process, the Zabit fight was causing a lot of hype on social media. \u2026 I was like, alright, this is going to be great. I started looking at the big potential for this fight. \u201cAnd it was kind of my fault that I \u2014 like a week after Lamas declined the fight, Sean Shelby called me again and he said, \u2018Hey, the Lamas fight is still back open. It\u2019s back open for you to fight.\u2019 And after I was asking for any top-10 and they didn\u2019t want to give it to me, and then Lamas took Bektic instead of me, I was kind of disappointed. Just kind of disappointed, I\u2019ll say that.\u201d \u201cI started looking at this other fight with Zabit. It was making a lot of sense for me because of the stylistic matchup and stuff. We saw big potential of renegotiating my contract. There was a negotiation that if they wanted me to fight him in LA (at UFC 227), which, I said I\u2019ll fight him in LA, of course, but if you pay me more, because I had saying for the last year that I wanted to fight a top 10 . I\u2019m not picking my opponents. I\u2019m just saying I deserve a top 10. Anyone. I actually asked for \u2018Korean Zombie\u2019 as well, but they told me he wasn\u2019t ready, even though he posted some stuff on Twitter saying that he wanted to fight Frankie. \u201cI was like, okay, I\u2019ll fight Zabit if you give me more money in LA, because I understand how big of an event it is, and they said no,\u201d Rodriguez continued. \u201cI was like, okay, if you don\u2019t want to give me more money to fight him in LA, why don\u2019t you give to me in Russia, and there\u2019s no need to do any negotiation for that. I want him in Russia. Why? Because he was calling me out. I\u2019m the guy who, I never say much, I just act. I don\u2019t have to be talking about this on my social media. \u201cThey didn\u2019t even want to give it to me in Russia. Then I was like, okay, you don\u2019t want to give me more money to fight him in LA, you don\u2019t want to give me a top-10 . Now I\u2019m looking \u2014 now I see how the things are going.\u201d Yair said he wasn't being difficult and ready to take any opponent in a top -10, something he felt he deserved with a record of 6-1 in the biggest promotion. \u201cI told them I will accept anyone in the top 10,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cI don\u2019t need a negotiation for a top-10 . This guy was No. 13 when I was No. 7. I just got beat by Frankie. It\u2019s just one fight. I\u2019m 6-1 in the UFC. I just think that\u2019s what I deserved, and they didn\u2019t want to give it to me. That was more about respect, respecting myself. \u201cThis, for me, was an eye-opening experience.\u201d After being released from UFC, Rodriguez has become the hottest free agent on the MMA market. Rodriguez said he had some good offers coming his way; he can't disclose the details yet. \u201cI can\u2019t talk too much about it, brother, but there\u2019s been offers,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cThere\u2019s been really good offers on the table, but you\u2019ll hear soon about what\u2019s going to happen next with me. \u201cI\u2019m happy,\u201d he added. \u201cOf course, you always want more because you think you deserve more. It\u2019s just the way that it is. Nobody is happy with whatever they have. But \u2026 I\u2019m really happy with the offers right now. I\u2019m happy with what is on the table right now. I\u2019m just being smart, I\u2019ve been waiting to see all the offers, and I know my next move is going to be really important for my career and my life. \u201cNo hard feelings,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cYou\u2019ve got to move on from things. People live in the past too much. They live the past. I\u2019ve been learning, this is one of the things that I\u2019ve been learning: If you are living in the past, you\u2019re depressed. If you are living in the future, you have anxiety. If you live in the present, you are happy. So I\u2019ve just been slowly learning how to be here and live in the moment, live in the present, and don\u2019t let any little stuff bother me. I cannot let little stuff bother me for the rest of my life. \u201cThis doesn\u2019t stop here. This is the just the beginning of something greater.\u201d What do you make of Rodriguez\u2019 UFC release? Who\u2019s side are you on between \u201cEl Pantera\u201d and the UFC? Where will the featherweight prospect end up?