Dana White: Yair Rodriguez released by UFC after refusing to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov
Yair Rodriguez apparently didn’t want to fight, and now he’s out of a job.
In a stunning turn of events, UFC President Dana White told the Los Angeles Times late Thursday night that Rodriguez – who was considered one of the promotion’s rising young talents – has been released after he refused to accept a fight with prospect Zabit Magomedsharipov at UFC 227.
The decision comes just two days after White said the fight was set to take place at the Aug. 4 pay-per-view event from Staples Center in L.A. White added that Rodriguez, No. 15 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, had also previously turned down an offer to fight No. 5 Ricardo Lamas.
“The guy’s off a year, rejects a fight with Lamas and then doesn’t want to fight a guy below him in the rankings?” White said. “He can go somewhere else. We have no use for him. He calls that fight fake news. This is real news.”
It’s a disappointing conclusion to Rodriguez’s UFC tenure. The promotion had previously considered the 25-year-old Mexican fighter a key to tapping further into Mexico’s fan base.
Rodriguez (10-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) had been on a roll with six consecutive wins to open his UFC career, which included a dominant second-round TKO finish of former champion B.J. Penn in the UFC Fight Night 103 main event in January 2017. Four months later, though, “El Pantera” was dismantled by ex-champ Frankie Edgar at UFC 211, resulting in a humbling doctor’s stoppage TKO loss.
Rodriguez hasn’t fought since that May 2017 defeat because of injury. And now when he’ll fight next — and for whom — is anybody’s guess.
This story Dana White: Yair Rodriguez released by UFC after refusing to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov first appeared on MMA Junkie.