UFC 284: Yair Rodriguez wins interim featherweight title with slick submission of Josh Emmett
On March 10, 2012, in his third pro fight, Yair Rodriguez won via triangle choke submission over Carlos Ricardo in Monterrey, Mexico.
On Saturday in Perth, Australia, as he warmed up for his interim featherweight title fight against Josh Emmett in the co-main event of UFC 284, he considered a triangle choke.
And a few minutes later he came out and, having demonstrated the best result of his life, he performed exactly the same move to eliminate Emmett and become the interim featherweight champion.
“I did this in one of my fights a long time ago and I learned the adjustment on the same day of the fight,” Rodriguez said after being submitted at 4:19 seconds. And I remembered this today.
However, the way Rodriguez fought was only a matter of time before he got his hands on Emmett. He was great, better than ever and beat a very respected opponent all over the cage.
He landed all sorts of kicks, hitting Emmett twice with thud shots to the body. He threw out punches, elbows and knees, and even in a prone position, he worked from a closed defense and continued his offensive attack.
It was one of those performances where very good fighters step up their game when the stakes are high and take it to the next level.
Even when Emmett took him down with a hard right hand in the first round, Rodriguez remained calm and in control. He fought back for the last 50 seconds of the first fight, and at least sent a message to Emmett that there would be no easy moments in the fight.
Just before the finish line, he caught Emmett with a jumping knee to the face. Both fell, and Emmett was on top. But, showing the endurance of a veteran, Rodriguez worked calmly and inflicted some damage before tossing the triangle.
It was only his fourth fight and his first in the UFC.
And it happened at the best moment.