From being considered a rising star that could carry the Mexican market for the UFC, to being unceremoniously released from the roster, all in a year? That seems to be the case for Yair Rodriguez, according a report from LA Times’ Lance Pugmire.
The number 11 ranked featherweight was said to have been punished for declining two bouts for UFC 227 against Zabit Magomedsharipov and Ricardo Lamas, and has been subsequently cut from the promotion.
Pugmire says the news comes from Dana White himself.
The @latimes has learned that Yair Rodriguez has been cut from by the UFC for refusing to take the Aug. 4 Staples Center PPV fight against Zabit Magomedsharipov.— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) May 11, 2018
Told by @danawhite that if a fighter like Rodriguez turns down both Ricardo Lamas and Magomedsharipov, in what should have been a compelling battle, after taking a year off, he can take his act elsewhere.— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) May 11, 2018
The letter to Rodriguez informing him he's been cut has been sent out, @latimes has been told.— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) May 11, 2018
Rodriguez is coming off a tough loss to former champion Frankie Edgar in 2017, which ended his eight-fight winning streak.
Since his last bout ended in a loss, technically the UFC can cut him from the roster. It is just interesting that White would openly say that it was retribution for turning down fight offers, which is also within the fighter’s rights to do.
Rodriguez, who is still just 25-years-old, is already 6-1 in the UFC with victories over the likes of B.J. Penn, Dan Hooker, and Alex Caceres. It’s probably a tough situation for the TUF Latin America champ, but with his flashy fighting style and sizable Mexican fanbase, he likely wouldn’t have a shortage of suitors and offers from other organizations.