Yair Rodriguez says it’s ‘a dream come true’ to see so many Mexican fighters on the cusp of UFC gold
The evolution of mixed martial arts has spread the sport to every corner of the globe, and Mexico is poised for a breakthrough year. Yair Rodriguez could cement his status as the second-best UFC pay-per-view champion in the country by defeating Josh Emmett at UFC 284. The two will fight in the co-main event on Saturday for the interim featherweight crown.
Brandon Moreno became the first Mexican champion in the UFC when he defeated Deiveson Figueiredo for the flyweight title in June 2021. Moreno’s success revitalized the Mexican MMA scene, laying a new foundation tied to the country’s rich boxing history. Moreno recently regained the flyweight title from Figueiredo at UFC 283. Rodriguez draws strength from his close friend Moreno, who hopes to join him at the champion table, albeit with the stipulation of an interim title challenge.
“I’m very inspired,” Rodriguez told CBS Sports. “I have seen him go through some really difficult moments in his career and life. I’m sure he deserves it 100%. there one day. You have to keep dreaming and believing that you can do it and eventually everything will happen.”
Read the full interview with Yair Rodriguez below.
Moreno is heading into what could be a big year for fighters representing Mexico. Rodriguez and Alexa Grasso intends to fight for the UFC title. Meanwhile, Irene Aldana is on the verge of fighting for the women’s bantamweight title. In addition, the next contender for the Moreno title is likely to be the Mexican Alexandre Pantoja. There is a possibility that by the end of 2023 Mexico will be able to quadruple the number of world champions.
“It will be like a dream come true. It’s good to think about it,” Rodriguez said. “I picture myself with a belt and my friends with belts. Yesterday I saw a post that said, “Who would have thought these four would be champions in 2023″ that talked about Islam Makhachev, Brandon Moreno and other fighters. chances for us four fighters to become champions? I think they are really high. I’ll be ready for it.”
Rodriguez’s desire to see his countrymen and women succeed is at the heart of Mexico’s proud and, according to Rodriguez, sometimes intense sports culture.
“We have a lot of love. It’s like a toxic relationship,” Rodriguez said with a laugh. “A lot of hate, but also a lot of love. People love their athletes so much. When they perform poorly and people know that they can do better, they get angry because they know the abilities and capabilities of our athletes. . Whenever they fail at something, they get angry. But when they do well, they express it.”