UFC 284 results, highlights: Yair Rodriguez submits Josh Emmett to claim interim featherweight title
Fighting for the interim featherweight title in the co-main event of UFC 284, Yair Rodriguez put in perhaps the best performance of his career. It took Rodriguez less than two rounds to lock in a triangle choke and get Josh Emmett to tap, earning Rodriguez his first taste of UFC gold.
Rodriguez came out quickly, using his speed and length to hit Emmett with kicks to the head, body and legs. One early blow to the body rolled Emmett and briefly made him stagger.
Emmett was able to take advantage of Rodriguez’s aggression late in the first round by sending an off-balance Rodriguez to the canvas and then dealt some damage with a heavy ground and pound punch. However, Rodriguez never had any major problems and managed to make it to the end of the round.
Things only got worse for Emmett in the second round when Rodriguez unleashed fast-paced punches on him from odd angles. At some point, Emmett’s balance was broken by a short elbow to the temple from Rodriguez.
YAIR RODRIGUEZ SERVING!
HE IS INTERIM LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION 🏆 #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/4Uwqgvj4Dc
— UFC (@ufc) February 12, 2023
Eager to end the show, Rodriguez landed more heavy punches before landing a flying knee. Emmett was able to use a knee to bring Rodriguez back to the canvas, but Rodriguez patiently moved into position to try and block the arm before moving to a choke triangle to power up the punch.
The submission was Rodriguez’s first in almost a decade, and was the first time Emmett had been submitted in 21 professional fights.
Now Rodriguez is waiting for featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski to take on lightweight champion Islam Makhachev in the main event of UFC 284 before returning to featherweight to fight for the undisputed champion.
Can’t get enough of boxing and MMA? Get the latest martial arts news from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including an instant analysis of UFC 284 at the conclusion of the event.