Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight standouts Frankie Edgar and Yair Rodriguez dueled last night (May 13, 2017) at UFC 211 inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Edgar has been dominant at 145 pounds opposite everyone except the current champion. Nevertheless, “The Answer” has been doing this for a long time, and he needed to prove that he could still turn away a fiery young prospect. Filling that role was Yair Rodriguez, whose high-flying style has quickly built him momentum and a solid fan base. If he managed to defeat Edgar, it could also earn him a title shot.
Edgar opened the fight with plenty of pressure, firing off combinations and keeping his opponent on his back foot. Rodriguez was undeterred, shooting out kicks at will and looking to land hard counter punches as well. Nonetheless, Edgar was able to land a takedown before anything significant landed.
From full guard, Edgar pinned his opponent to the fence and dropped elbows. Rodriguez tried to maintain an active guard, scrambling and striking from his back, but Edgar navigated well to beat up “Pantera” from top position.
It was a strong start for the former champion, and Rodriguez face wore the punishment.
Edgar opened the second round with some good punches and a strong takedown. Rodriguez countered beautifully by rolling into a kneebar, but Edgar was able to ride out the position and eventually punish his foe for the attempt.
Still, it was a close call.
Once Edgar settled in top position, he went back to work. Edgar did a great job of posturing up, which allowed him to drop seriously hard shots. By the end of the round, Rodriguez’s already-swollen eye was shut and popping off his face. Ultimately, it forced the doctor to call the stoppage.
In Texas. That alone should tell you how bad Rodriguez’s eye was.
This was a near-perfect performance from Edgar. Immediately, he backed the kicker up and put the pace on him, doing a good job of moving and avoiding any big kicks. He ate a couple shots to get inside, but he returned them ten-fold once he secured the takedown.
Remember a few years back when Edgar had an undeserved reputation of doing nothing with top position? Once again, he disproved that notion.
Edgar’s chain wrestling was on point last night. Rodriguez did a great job of stuffing the initial shot, and even the first transition in the second round, which definitely says good things about his future. Unfortunately for “Pantera,” we all know Edgar just doesn’t stop, and he kept working for the finish till he completed the takedown.
Next up for Edgar depends on the division. If Max Holloway defeats Jose Aldo, that fight makes a ton of sense. If not, his position is unclear, but he’s still close to the title.
Rodriguez got the shit kicked out of him. It happens. Luckily, Rodriguez is a young, talented, and tough — Rodriguez was straight up lying to doctors that he could see in the hopes of continuing — and ideally this fight will stand as a learning experience for him.
What Rodriguez does, his general approach to fighting, works very well. That’s true of all top fighters. In the future, however, Rodriguez must adjust away from his favored style of fighting if the style match up demands him to do so. Otherwise, he can expect a similar result next time he faces an elite veteran.
Last night, Frankie Edgar utterly dominated the division’s hottest prospect. Who should Edgar face next?
For complete UFC 211: “Miocic vs. dos Santos 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE!