Yair Rodriguez has no issues with the way his fight against Brian Ortega ended this past weekend (July 16, 2022) at UFC Long Island.
The evening’s main event came to a rather anti-climactic conclusion after Ortega suffered an early shoulder dislocation in a grappling exchange (watch highlights). Victory went to Rodriguez officially by way of technical knockout and got him back in the win column and potentially lined up for a crack at Featherweight gold.
“In the moment, I knew that I had the submission,” Rodriguez said on The MMA Hour. “Of course, the attempt of the submission was there. That lead to a reaction from Brian Ortega that led to his injury. So, for me, it’s a win no matter what. Regardless, it’s a win.
“I feel really happy,” he continued. “My friends, family, they’re super happy. Nobody knew what happened right in the moment so everybody was confused. They’re used to seeing me throwing down in Juarez against big opponents and this opportunity was just one round. I hope Brian Ortega gets healthy but I’m always looking to move forward in my career and that’s what I’m looking to do right now.”
Reigning champion, Alexander Volkanovski, is currently healing after undergoing successful surgery to repair his broken hand. That means things will likely need some sorting out in the meantime as top contender, Josh Emmett, is also eagerly anticipating a title shot of his own.
With Volkanovski sidelined, it opens the door to an interim title in the division. Ultimately, Rodriguez just wants to shut up his doubters as he inches his way closer to the top of the mountain.
“I don’t know what else I have to do for people to start believing I’m for real,” Rodriguez said. “They want to keep on believing that I’m not for real by this point then I don’t know what else to do. I think I’m just a really lucky guy and that’s why I got in the No. 1 contender spot or something. It’s just crazy to believe that people think I’m still not for real or whatever, but I’m okay with whatever, you know. People always going to talk and think and say little things but my job is to show them different all the time.”
For complete UFC Long Island results and coverage click here.