Score one for the old guard.
The UFC 211 matchup between former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and the up-and-coming Yair Rodriguez was highly anticipated. On paper, the bout between the 35-year-old Edgar and the 24-year-old Rodriguez was the best veteran vs. possible next superstar matchup we’ve seen in quite some time.
Edgar wasn’t playing that.
The Toms River, N.J., native made a statement on Saturday night at Dallas’ American Airlines Center, mauling Rodriguez for 10 minutes before the bout was called off after the second round. The win goes in the books as a TKO.
Edgar set the tone earlier in the opening round with a takedown, and then spent the rest of the round teaching Rodriguez a lesson. A ruthless ground-and-pound assault and a likely 10-8 round left Rodriguez with his left eye swollen nearly shut.
In the second, Edgar again took him to the mat early. A plucky Rodriguez went for a kneebar and a heel hook, but Edgar once again reasserted his control from top position.
Rodriguez survived again. But while he protested that he could see, and continued, the referee waved off the bout between the second and third rounds.
With the victory, Edgar improved to 22-5-1 with two straight wins and seven in his past eight fights. Rodriguez had an eight-fight win streak snapped.
After the bout, Edgar, who dedicated his victory to teammate and former UFC fighter Nick Catone, whose infant child died this week, offered encouraging words to Rodriguez.
“Before the fight, I said no matter what happens, Yair is going to be a superstar,” Edgar said. “Just not yet, you know? Sometimes you need losses like that to get to the next level. He’s going to be alright.”
Source:: mma fighting