Where in the world should Yair Rodriguez go?
May 10th, 2018 it was reported by Lance Pugmire the Yair Rodriguez was released by the UFC for refusing to fight Russian phenom Zabit Magomedsharipov August 4th. It was then reported by Lance that Dana White revealed Yair turned down a fight with Ricardo Lamas as well and has confirmed Yair could fight elsewhere. Yair Rodriguez is still a top talent and was the current #11 ranked featherweight in the UFC. Yair is a great fighter so here are some organization that should pick him up.
Most Likely Destinations
Bellator has been known for picking up guys coming off a release from the UFC or if their contract simply ends. If you look at some of the signings being Roy Nelson, Ryan Bader, Michael McDonald, and Sam Sicilia not many times do they have the opportunity to get a 25-year-old star with a big career still ahead of him. If you look at the featherweights Bellator has including AJ McKee, Henry Corrales, Adam Borica, John Macapa, James Gallager, Pat Curran, Daniel Straus, and many more so adding Rodriguez to the roster just makes too much sense.
Professional Fighters League (PFL)
Adding Rodriguez to the PFL roster would be a great move for the promotion. The bracket for the tournament is already set but if they were to sign Yair and keep him ready for a possible replacement if someone would have to pull out which is bound to happen. Imagine Yair facing off against Andre Harrison, Timur Valiev, and Bekbulat Magomedov that’s some excellent fight matchups and it put Yair toward the top to win the whole thing.
Absolute Championship Berkut has become a fan favorite promotion with the motto “Less show, more fighting” and they truly hold true to that name. The competition in each day is getting better and better and the promotion continues to sign top guys around the world. If Yair was to sign he could very well get the treatment of fellow UFC fighter Albert Tumenov as he has skyrocketed to the top and is fighting for the title in his upcoming fight. A fight with ACB featherweight champion Yusuf Raisov would be a great spectacle.
Rizin is another fan favorite promotion and as the competition isn’t as hot as it is in PFL or Bellator the organization still fits Rodriguez. The Mexican star in Rodriguez would be a great signing for Rizin as the Japanese fans will fall in love with his fighting style. Apparently, Rizin is already interested.
This idea makes a lot of sense where Combate is by far the best Latino promotion and with Yair being from Mexico it would be ideal. Can they afford him is another question. Campbell McLaren did just recently poach Erik Perez from the UFC when he was riding a 3 fight win streak. The promotion wouldn’t comment on attempting to pursue Rodriguez as they weren’t sure of his contractual status with the UFC according to Jim Edwards. But the Latino fighter is rumored to be in attendance at Combate’s event in Sacramento.
⚡️- Yair Rodriguez update 2/2
Essentially they won't comment on their interest to pursue him until there is evidence of his departure from the #UFC.
I've been told by a source that Yair may be in attendance at the CA event in Sacramento this evening.
— Jim Edwards (@MMA_Jim) May 11, 2018