Yair Rodriguez Believes Win Over Brian Ortega Could Earn Him Another Title Shot

UFC
January 25, 2024
Yair Rodriguez believes he is not very far from title contention.

Rodriguez is coming off a third-round stoppage loss against Alexander Volkanovski in his first shot at featherweight gold at UFC 290 last July. The Mexican standout will next face Brian Ortega in a rematch in front of his home fans at UFC Mexico on Feb. 24.

“El Pantera” believes a title shot could be waiting on the other side of a win over Ortega.

“I think it’ll put me right there for the title shot again,” Rodriguez told Middle Easy. “Of course, that would have a lot to do with the [Ilia] Topuria vs. Volkanovski fight. I think that will dictate where the division will go and what fights there are to make. If 'Volk' wins, which I think he will and I win my next fight, I think a rematch could be a potential reality.”

Rodriguez acknowledges that the possibility of a title shot depends on the outcome of the UFC 298 title fight, where Volkanovski will look to defend his throne against an undefeated Topuria on Feb. 17. While Rodriguez would like to avenge his loss against “The Great,” he is willing to face either man if it means another shot at the title.

“I don’t care. Whoever will be fine,” he said. “I just think that the abilities of Volkanovski are way better than Ilia’s. Ilia is really good, but I don’t think he has what he needs in order for him to win that fight. The only thing I see in that fight is I think 'Volk' too soon coming off a loss. Not only a loss, but a KO.”

The first outing between Rodriguez and Ortega in July 2022 ended in anticlimactic fashion, as “T-City’s” shoulder popped out in the first round while “El Pantera” was attempting a submission.

“I don’t see why people keep thinking that his shoulder fell off for no reason,” Rodriguez said. “It’s OK. Everybody can think whatever they want about what happened there. If Brian wants to accept it or not, that’s not my problem. This is a completely different fight in a whole different environment, and it’ll be great. Mexico is gonna be a super tough fight, so it’s gonna be interesting.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Yair-Rodriguez-Believes-Win-Over-Brian-Ortega-Could-Earn-Him-Another-Title-Shot-192401

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