One of the top stories of the year has been Yair Rodriguez’s release and prompt return to the UFC after allegedly being unwilling to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov. Rodriguez was then scheduled to face Magomedsharipov at UFC 227 in Los Angeles, but Rodigurez would pull out of the fight. Speaking to MMAjunkie, Rodriguez reflected on the past year and his road to headlining Saturday’s UFC Denver card against The Korean Zombie:
“It’s been pretty tough the last year and a half,” Rodriguez said. “I’m pretty happy to be headlining this event, the 25th anniversary of the UFC, which makes me a lot more happy.
“With a new life and new energy, I don’t know what else to say. I’m just happy to be here.”
After expressing his enthusiasm to headline this weekend’s event, Yair Rodriguez would then address the elephant in the room:
“I’m not ducking fights – I’m not ducking anyone,” Rodriguez insisted. “This is what I’ve been doing for all my life, since five years old. I have tons of street fights. I’m not afraid of fighting. It’s why I’m still here. But life happens, guys, and sometimes you can’t do (expletive) about it. Sometimes it’s harder than what it looks like when you don’t have my shoes on.”
“I’ll fight (Magomedsharipov) any time, anywhere,” he said. “But I still think he needs to prove himself. I have seven fights in the UFC; six wins, one loss, four ‘Performance of the Night,’ and I have headlined two events. I’ll say that any time. I don’t care if I have to fight him here or in a gym. I don’t care.”
Do you believe Yair Rodriguez is ducking Zabit Magomedsharipov?