A lot of people were expecting Max Holloway to blow out Yair Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 42, but instead what we got was a pretty competitive war that left both men’s stock up. Max Holloway once again proved himself the second best fighter in the featherweight division. And Yair, despite the decision loss, proved he still belonged in the top five of the division after a two year absence.
After a war like that (watch the highlights here), it’s impossible no to have respect for your opponent, and Max showed a lot of love for Yair. The two shared an ambulance selfie after the fight, and now Holloway has taken to social media to gush about the opponent he considers a future champion.
“Toughest sport in the world,” Holloway wrote on Twitter. “But for some of us what happens in the Octagon is the easier parts of life. Yair is one of those fighters. If you want to understand how Yair does his ninja stuff, look at his team. If you want to understand why, look at his family and the sacrifices they’ve made together to make it to the Octagon.”
If you want to understand how Yair does his ninja stuff, look at his team. If you want to understand why, look at his family and the sacrifices they've made together to make it to the Octagon.— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) November 15, 2021
Rodriguez’s time away from the Octagon hasn’t been easy. COVID-19 hit his family hard with the Mexican fighter losing five family members. Holloway shared a snap he took with those that attended their fight.
Shout outs to Parral, Chihuahua. Love you, brother. Looking forward to your championship reign some day. We should be amigos, probably pic.twitter.com/WLoHlgNY2A— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) November 15, 2021
“Shout outs to Parral, Chihuahua,” Max wrote, referencing Yair’s hometown. “Love you, brother. Looking forward to your championship reign some day. We should be amigos, probably.”
Yair Rodriguez and Max Holloway becoming amigos sounds great, despite the fact that they’ll probably end up facing each other again down the road, especially if the 145 pound belt gets involved. But it’s lovely to see this kind of respect thrown around in a sport that’s gotten way too bombastic and trash talk filled lately.