It was close, but Yair Rodriguez earned his sixth straight win last night (Sat., Aug. 6, 2016) in Salt Lake City, Utah against Alex Caceres in the headlining bout of UFC Fight Night 92.
After coming out full speed for the first two rounds, throwing spinning and fancy moves that had Brian Stann contemplating taking Dramamine to keep from getting dizzy, "El Pantera" slowed down in the third and fourth rounds. Credit to "Bruce Leeroy," though, who didn't show an ounce of quit.
In the finale frame, though, Rodriguez picked up the pace in an attempt to sway the judges his way. And it worked, as he outgunned Caceres in the final five minutes to edge out a split-decision win.
With five fights and five wins inside the Octagon, Rodriguez has firmly established himself as a future contender in the division. That said, as entertaining and flashy as he was last night, he was expected to steamroll Caceres in the eyes of many with perhaps a better-balanced attack.
Nothing wrong with going for the entertainment factor, though.
Nevertheless, Rodriguez is still rising and his future challenges will only get tougher. That said, I'd like to see him take on Jeremy Stephens, who was last seen taking out former Bantamweight champion Renan Barao.
The longtime Octagon veteran would be a tough challenge for the up-and-coming prospect that won't be easily drawn into a "can you top this" type of fight and force the Mexican-born fighter to dig deep into his arsenal if he wants to pull out a win.
Then again, depending on how the rankings stack up come Monday, it's anyone's guess as to who "El Pantera" will draw next.
For complete UFC Fight Night 92: "Rodriguez vs. Caceres" results, including real-time play-by-play updates, click here.