It seems Yair Rodriguez will no longer be a UFC fighter.
The season one winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America has been informed of his release by the UFC for refusing to take a fight for UFC 227 on Aug. 4. The news was first reported by the LA Times early Friday morning; MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani later confirmed the report, and added that the UFC has only informed Rodriguez of his release, but has yet to officially cut him from the roster.
Rodriguez was offered two opponents for the UFC 227 event in Los Angeles: veteran Ricardo Lamas and fellow prospect Zabit Magomedsharipov. According to the LA Times, UFC president Dana White said that Rodriguez turned down a fight with Lamas, and when reports came out saying that Rodriguez was set to face Magomedsharipov, the Mexican fighter tweeted the hashtag “#FakeNews”.
White didn’t take Rodriguez’s tweet too well.
“The guy’s off a year, rejects a fight with Lamas and then doesn’t want to fight a guy below him in the rankings?” White told the LA Times. “He can go somewhere else. We have no use for him.
”He calls that fight fake news. This is real news.”
White later took matters to Twitter too, Tweeting:
— Dana White (@danawhite) May 11, 2018
Once officially released, the 25-year-old Rodriguez will leave the promotion ranked No. 11 in the featherweight division. He has a professional MMA record of 10-2 and a UFC record of 6-1. Rodriguez’s only loss in the UFC came to former UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar back at UFC 211 last May. The technical knockout loss to Edgar was Rodriguez’s last pro fight.
In his UFC run, Rodriguez headlined two of the promotion’s Fight Night events, UFC Phoenix against B.J. Penn and UFC Salt Lake City against Alex Caceres. “El Pantera” won both bouts.