With two title fights involving arguably the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world at this Saturday’s UFC 197, it’s easy to forget the young talent filling up the rest of the card.
Opening the UFC 197 main card, one of the hottest prospects in MMA, Yair Rodriguez, will take on Team Alpha Male’s Andre Fili.
Rodriguez, who won the first season of the UFC’s reality television show The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America, has quickly been labeled as a prospect to watch in the UFC’s featherweight division. The 23-year-old Mexican has an undefeated UFC record, compiling three straight wins over solid competitors such as Charles Rosa, Dan Hooker, and Leonardo Morales. Although all of those victories have come via decision, Rodriguez has shown improvement in every fight along with his unique, creative moves that have caught the eyes of many fans.
“Each fight I try to be different,” Rodriguez told MMA Fighting. “Every time, I train things differently with my coach and work on new things, so I don’t always come in with the same strategy. We’re always working on new things, trying to be creative.
“What makes me fight like that? Well, I don’t know. Many things that I do during my fights I don’t really do here in my trainings because I can hurt my partners or myself. So I think it’s something instinctive, something you’re born with or something that you create as time goes on. I’ve been doing martial arts since I was five, so for me competition is something that’s very common. I think that’s why, too.”
“La Pantera,” who trains out of Chicago and cross-trains over at JacksonWink in Albuquerque, has added an extra drive to his training regimen, as he no longer trains wrestling with Izzy Martinez. Every weekend, Rodriguez drives to Champaign, ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting