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Lost in the shuffle of Alexander Volkanovski’s excellent performance against Islam Makhachev is the simple fact that he has a very dangerous challenger ahead of him. On the same night that the Australian chased double champion status, Yair Rodriguez captured interim Featherweight gold by dismantling Josh Emmett with his vicious kicking game.
It’s far from the first highlight produced by “Pantera,” who has scored some ridiculous stoppage wins throughout his career. He’s incredibly fast and has a unique skill set, and his rangy offense makes him a real threat to the shorter man in Volkanovski.
UFC color commentator Joe Rogan is impressed by Rodriguez, to say the least. On a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan dropped a ton of praise on the Mexican champion, labeling him a “genius” and waxing poetic about his kicking capabilities.
“Have you seen Yair Rodriguez fight? Yair Rodriguez is one of the wildest motherf—kers that’s ever fought in MMA,” Rogan said (via MMA Junkie). “Yair has some of the craziest kicks. He’s got this taekwondo background, but he does all this wild sh*t. He hit B.J. Penn with a 360 roundhouse kick. He f—ked B.J. Penn up.
“Look at this motherf—ker. He kicked him with the right, and then in the air hits him with the left. He’s a beast. He’s so dynamic, his striking and on the ground. He finished Josh Emmett with a triangle in his last fight. On the ground he’s nasty. He is f—king wicked. He’s wicked, and he’s really hard to figure out because everything he does is different … f—king genius.”
Whether Rodriguez’s genius is enough to dethrone Volkanovski remains to be seen, but he’ll get his opportunity at UFC 290 on Sat., July 8, 2023 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
New meme format just dropped:
“I heard the Nelk boys just got here”— Heavyweight Thanos (@MMAThanos) May 31, 2023
Guram Kutataledze revealed visa issues are the reason behind his pullout rather than injury, so hopefully he can get rebooked sooner than later.
Every Matthew Semelsberger fight is a banger.
Tim Elliott is bringing some extra emotion into his fight this weekend opposite Victor Altamarino.
Tim Elliot talks about the support he got from the MMA community after revealing his wife cheated on him with his teammate pic.twitter.com/UmcVZZFL5B— MMA Mania (@mmamania) May 31, 2023
It’s not my first choice for either man, but I’d happily watch Renato Moicano and Rafael Fiziev fight again.
Speaking of rematches, Marlon Vera wants another shot at Cory Sandhagen.
Down the line I will rematch cory and trust me I will finish him.— C H T O V E R A (@chitoveraUFC) May 31, 2023
It’s always cool to see a game plan come together.
Was working that superman punch all camp. pic.twitter.com/KfT6T2u9ZK— Matt “The Steamrolla”Frevola (@SteamRollaa) May 31, 2023
Belal Muhammad doesn’t appear too interested in a non-officiated altercation with Sean Strickland.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Getting chewed up by a nasty left kicker is never fun.
It must suck to fight Sam-A pic.twitter.com/MFalROalDP— ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง (@MattssonEric) May 31, 2023
Alex Caceres’ high kick setup against Julian Erosa is a perfect example of great strike timing.
Alex Caceres TKOs Julian Erosa— Ocelot MMA (@Ocelot_MMA) May 30, 2023
via Head Kick & Punches in Round 1
He faces Daniel Pineda this weekend pic.twitter.com/fyC0cORNL4
Matt Brown is one of the best clinch strikers in MMA history.
Matt Brown w/ collar tie :— Sweet Punch Memories (@SPM_staff) May 30, 2023
- set up those long straight punches that either back up Robbie or allows Matt to work with the Collar tie to create openings for Elbows and knees & sweep
- Against the fence, made Robbie break posture disengage after being punished by many elbows pic.twitter.com/XFgUzUgdtz
Midnight Music: Country, 2013
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.