When Max Holloway was pulled from his Alexander Volkanovski title fight, thanks to a pre-existing injury, the promotion called up longtime featherweight veteran Chan Sung Jung to fill in, a decision that didn’t sit well with the rest of the 145-pound pack.
But one fighter that stood out from all the other title hopefuls, at least in the eyes of the champion, was No. 3-ranked Yair Rodriguez, who embarked on a foul-mouthed social media campaign to shred the “Zombie” diaries and heap scorn upon “The Great.”
“One thing that surprises me and what annoys me is the way he acted about it, as if it was a no brainer that he should be the next in line, and then starts carrying on and swearing and saying, ‘Respectfully, fuck you,’ and all this type of stuff,” Volkanovski told The MMA Hour. “I’m like, are you serious? Okay, Let’s be real for a second. What? Over two years, you were pretty much running from Zabit [Magomedsharipov]? So you’re running from Zabit, pulling out, you’re getting suspended by USADA. And then let’s remember, he just lost. I don’t get it. You haven’t fought for how long? Then you’re coming off a loss, and then you get angry at me because I don’t sit there and call you out? Man, it just blows me away.”
Volkanovski (23-1) is a perfect 10-0 under the UFC banner and is coming off last September’s unanimous decision victory over Brian Ortega. As for Rodriguez (13-2), he went down on points to the aforementioned Holloway at UFC Vegas 42 back in November.
“I’m going to be champion for a long time,” Volkanovski continued. “The mentality that I have compared to some of these guys, the way they go about things and the way they just want things given to them — Yair’s a good example for that. Dodging fights, just trying to find an easier way to the title shot, and carrying on like he did now. You think you’re going to beat me with that mentality? These guys want to be carrying on like little princesses and just expect things given to them. But when you have that attitude, you ain’t never going to get nowhere in life. So whatever.”
Volkanovski vs. Jung headlines UFC 273 in April. Rodriguez, however, remains unbooked ... for now.