BantamweightsAdrian Yanez (11-3) vs. Victor Rodriguez (4-2)
ODDS: Yanez (-325), Rodriguez (+265)
Yanez had one of the more heart-rending stories on the most recent season of Dana White’s Contender Series, discussing the role that his father played in his career before passing away due to stomach cancer and how he would take his UFC contract to his father’s grave to show he had accomplished his dream. Thankfully, Yanez made UFC President Dana White’s decision to sign him rather easy, as he smoked his opponent in just 39 seconds. Yanez has a high floor as an action fighter if nothing else, as he is willing to consistently press an aggressive striking game and eat everything that comes back his way. He has run into difficulty separating himself from opponents who are just as able to stand and return fire, but it is difficult to knock someone who will provide either a war or a finish every time out. Yanez makes his UFC debut against a late-notice newcomer in Rodriguez, who comes from the regional scene in his native Alaska. Rodriguez has also proven to be a scrapper, so he will at least give all he has to give, but frankly, it is a bit concerning that Rodriguez has not knocked down the door against a particularly weak level of competition. Rodriguez should make this fun, but this figures to be a huge step up in competition for which he might not be ready. The pick is Yanez via first-round knockout.
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