After working out his differences with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Yair Rodriguez is back and out to prove his mettle against the current lineup of elite featherweights. One of them is former title challenger Chan Sung Jung, who was originally scheduled to face Frankie Edgar. But with the former champion out due to injury, Rodriguez stepped in.
Rodriguez and Jung will make UFC Fight Night 139 one of the most exciting cards of the year. Before they trade blows at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado this weekend, here are some numbers that have made “Pantera” such an entertaining contender.
5: Years old when he started training taekwondo. Later on, he added judo and boxing into his dreaded standup arsenal.
19: Years old by the time of his first professional fight. He defeated Jonatan Guzman by unanimous decision at Mexican Fighter Promotions 8.
4: Wins in five fights to start his professional career. His lone setback came at the hands of Roberto Herrera who knocked him out with punches at Mexican Fighter Promotions 13.
13: Seconds to beat Edgar Juarez via flying knee. The spectacular KO happened at Mexican Fighter Promotions 14.
1: Round needed to impress American fans at Rodriguez’s first fight outside of Mexico. He submitted Angelo Duarte at 2:12 of their match at NP – High Altitude Face Off 6 in Alamosa, Colorado.
3: Fellow contestants defeated to win The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America. He stopped Humberto Brown Morrison and Rodolfo Rubio Perez by submission and TKO, respectively, to earn a spot at the finals against Leonardo Morales. Rodriguez defeated Morales by unanimous decision.
8: Straight victories after his loss to Herrera. Six of them came in the UFC, where he defeated the likes of Andre Fili, Alex Caceres and B.J. Penn.
55: Significant strikes landed on Penn, per Fightmetric. Before finishing the Hawaiian legend, Rodriguez was completely dominant, landing 55 clean shots against Penn’s 4.
265: Total significant strikes landed in the UFC. Rodriguez has outpointed all but one of his opponents inside the Octagon.
3: Headliners in the UFC. Apart from UFC Fight Night 139, he shared the main event with Caceres at UFC Fight Night 92 and Penn at UFC Fight Night 103.
2: Performance of the Night awards. Rodriguez never fails to blow away fans, and his showmanship was on full display during his tussles with Fili, which ended via head kick and with Penn, which concluded with a front kick and punches. 2: Fight of the Night awards. Rodriguez has been known to come up with thrilling performances but his landmark bouts with Caceres and Charles Rosa stood out. Both fights ended via split decision in favor of Rodriguez. 3: Victories by KO or TKO. All three of his knockout wins have been nothing short of spectacular. Owing to his rich striking background, Rodriguez starched Juarez, Fili and Penn. 3: Victories by submission. He tapped out Carlos Ricardo via triangle choke and Duarte by armbar. 26: Years of age. Rodriguez, who is extremely proud of his Mexican heritage, was born on October 6, 1992 in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico.