Yair Rodriguez Says Fight Against Zabit Magomedsharipov Will Be a ‘[Expletive] War’
Yair Rodriguez was never ducking Zabit Magomedsharipov.
That’s the message the lightweight prospect passed along when asked about the perception that he was somehow avoiding Magomedsharipov, which eventually ended with his brief exit from the UFC.
Ultimately cooler heads prevailed and Rodriguez was brought back to the roster before the matchup against Magomedsharipov was made official for UFC 228 on Sept. 8.
As far as the rumors that he was avoiding that fight, Rodriguez says he doesn’t really care what people think because they just don’t know what was actually happening behind the scenes.
“I understand people’s perspective and the whole media can manipulate it. It’s social media. Anybody can think whatever they want. It’s not reality,” Rodriguez told “UFC Unfiltered” this week.
By all accounts, Rodriguez was hoping for a top 10 opponent but had no problem ultimately accepting a fight against the fearsome Magomedsharipov, who has gone undefeated since joining the UFC.
“He’s an up and comer in the UFC and he’s pretty good. I’m excited for this fight. I’m excited to fight him,” Rodriguez said about facing Magomedsharipov.
“He’s a pretty well rounded fighter. I think he’s going to be good in any area we go. I think it’s going to be a scrap out there with Zabit. It doesn’t matter where we go. We stand up in boxing, if we throw down with kicks, if we grappler or wrestle, I think it’s going to be an amazing fight to watch.”
Rodriguez says in preparation for the fight he’s gone back to his roots for training camp working once again with wrestling coach Israel Martinez after bouncing around to several gyms after his loss to Frankie Edgar last year.
While he can’t make an exact prediction on how the fight will play out, Rodriguez promises that he’s ready to put on a show with Magomedsharipov at UFC 228.
“I feel good about this fight. I think it’s going to be an impressive fight,” Rodriguez said. “People just have to see this, people just have to watch this amazing fight. Because we’re both young, we’re both talented. It’s going to be a f–king war out there for sure.”