Rising contender Yair Rodriguez was briefly released from the UFC, suddenly leaving him unsure of his fighting future. Upon sorting things out with the company, “El Pantera” more than proved he belongs in the roster with a noteworthy finish of Chan Sung Jung to cap off the UFC’s 25th Anniversary show in Denver.
What was the high point of the fight?
Rodriguez was clearly the flashier, more unpredictable fighter with his question mark kicks, spinning attacks and Imanari rolls, which seemed to be working early on. In the third round, however, it was the Korean Zombie’s pressure boxing that was becoming far more effective.
The two men clearly had utmost respect for each other, stopping for a few moments for a high five. The end of the fight came a few moments after that show of the last ten seconds of round five. Rodriguez landed an upward elbow at the 4:59 mark, sending TKZ faced down on the mat, knocked out cold.
Where do these two go from here?
A loss for Chan Sung Jung is definitely a setback, and will likely cost him his spot at the top ten. He will likely be matched up against someone lower, but I am still curious to see how he would do against Frankie Edgar.
Rodriguez did not call anyone out during his post-fight interview, but I believe a fight against Zabit Magomedsharipov is a long time coming. It should be the fight to be made next.
Watch it now, later, or never?
It was a predominantly stand-up war with a last-minute highlight reel finish. Don’t miss out and watch it immediately.