Yair Rodriguez Pays Respect to Rival Jeremy Stephens Following UFC Boston Victory

By Tristen Critchfield Oct 20, 2019


Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens were not on the best of terms following their abbreviated first encounter in Mexico City, but “El Pantera” appears ready to bury the hatchet following their rematch at UFC on ESPN 6.

After taking a unanimous decision over Stephens in Boston on Friday night, Rodriguez released a statement regarding the victory via social media. The Mexican star was unavailable for interviews immediately following the featherweight bout because he was transported from TD Garden for precautionary reasons.

I have a great team, there are plenty of words to express such gratitude, not only to my coaches but also to my friends and my family for always being with me. Despite all the bitterness that can become an experience, we always look for the positive side of things and improve as human beings,” Rodriguez wrote.

“I had a pending account against a great rival, I knew it would be a hard test in my career but I feel grateful and blessed by God for the opportunity to win this victory…My respects for this warrior who, despite all that happened before this fight at the end, showed respect and that this is only part of the [business].”

Rodriguez and Stephens initially squared off at UFC Fight Night 159 on Sept. 21, but the contest ended in just 15 seconds when a Rodriguez eye poke rendered “Lil Heathen” unable to continue. Stephens was showered with debris as he exited the venue, while Rodriguez questioned the validity of his injury The two men then engaged in a confrontation the following day at the fighter hotel, which only added to the animosity. However, once the final bell sounded on Friday, the two combatants embraced in the Octagon.



Moving forward, Rodriguez hopes to continue his ascent to the top of the featherweight division. The 27-year-old Chihuahua native has lost just once in 10 promotional appearances and believes that he is nearing a title shot.

“I only seek to face the best of the best in the division and I hope that the [UFC], after [10] fights for them, within which [eight] are victories, [seven] bonuses for fights and performances of the night, give me the opportunity to fight soon for a world title,” he wrote.

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Cuento con un gran equipo, sobran las palabras para expresar tanto agradecimiento, no solo a mis entrenadores si no también a mis amigos y a mi familia por siempre estar conmigo. A pesar de todo lo amarga que pueda llegar a ser una experiencia, siempre buscamos el lado positivo de las cosas y mejoramos como seres humanos. Había cuenta pendiente en contra de un gran rival, sabía que sería una prueba dura en mi carrera pero me siento agradecido y bendecido por Dios por la oportunidad de salir con la victoria. Enfocado y mejorando día con día, estoy seguro que llegaré a lo más alto en este mundo. Voy con todo y por todo pero no voy solo.. . CUENTO CON UN GRAN EQUIPO! . Mis respetos para este guerrero que a pesar de todo lo qué pasó antes de esta pelea al final se demostró el respeto y que esto solo parte del “business” negocio. . Yo solo busco enfrentar a lo mejor de lo mejor en la división y espero que el @ufc después de 9 peleas para ellos, dentro de las cuales 8 son victorias, 7 bonos por peleas y actuaciones de la noche, me den la oportunidad de pelear pronto por un título mundial. . I have a great team, there are plenty of words to express such gratitude, not only to my coaches but also to my friends and my family for always being with me. Despite all the bitterness that can become an experience, we always look for the positive side of things and improve as human beings. I had a pending account against a great rival, I knew it would be a hard test in my career but I feel grateful and blessed by God for the opportunity to win this victory. Focused and improving day by day, I am sure that I will reach the top in this world. I go with everything and everything but I do not go alone .. . I HAVE A GREAT TEAM! . My respects for this warrior who, despite all that happened before this fight at the end, showed respect and that this is only part of the "business" business. . I only seek to face the best of the best in the division and I hope that the @ufc after 9 fights for them, within which 8 are victories, 7 bonuses for fights and performances of the night, give me the opportunity to fight Soon for a world title.

A post shared by YAIR RODRIGUEZ PORTILLO (@panteraufc) on Oct 20, 2019 at 5:22pm PDT

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