Yair Rodriguez doesn’t think his matchup with Frankie Edgar at UFC 211 is a case of too much, too soon.
In fact, the Mexican featherweight prospect asked for the showdown with the former lightweight champion, according to UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby. When the fight was announced, there were some in the MMA community who thought Rodriguez should have remained on a less difficult path in his burgeoning career.
“I think I got a fair amount of hate for making this fight,” Shelby said during an interview on UFC 211 "Watch List.” “And the funny thing is, I’m not the guy that made this fight. Yair Rodriguez made this fight. He felt he was ready. He came back and he requested Frankie Edgar specifically.”
Rodriguez, 24, is unbeaten in six Octagon appearances and is 10-1 as a professional overall. His resume thus far includes a highlight-reel knockout of Andre Fili, a five-round split verdict over Alex Caceres and a dominant second-round technical knockout of B.J. Penn. Edgar represents a significant step up from any of Rodriguez’s previous foes, however.
“This is a guy I thought had a tremendous amount of potential. He’s nowhere near his ceiling,” Shelby said. “He’s still getting better and he wants to fight a guy that’s still at the top of his game. I think Yair presents a lot of problems for him….I think it’s an interesting matchup.”
UFC 211 takes place at American Airlines Arena in Dallas on May 13 and is headlined by a heavyweight championship clash between Stipe Miocic and Junior dos Santos. Rodriguez vs. Edgar is slated to be the second bout on the evening’s pay-per-view card.