During the build-up for their UFC Austin fight, bantamweights Adrian Yanez and Tony Kelley made it clear that they didn’t like each other. All of it stemmed from Kelley’s xenophobic statements while he was cornering Andrea Lee in mid-May.
All that heat seemed to have boiled over during the fight, according to Yanez. In his post-fight scrum, the 28-year-old revealed some of the words Kelley threw at him in the cage.
“He talked shit, and I felt like I kept everything pretty cordial and the next thing you know, he starts calling me a Wish version of Masvidal. And now, he kind of wishes he didn’t say that,” Yanez told reporters.
“In my head, I was like, ‘just keep talking. I’m finding my openings.’ Every time he opened his mouth, I saw another opening. And that’s whenever I started rocking him.
“I don’t know if you all noticed, but he started talking to me, I found the opening, I rocked him. He kept opening up his mouth, and I kept shutting it for him. That was the perfect way to explain it.”
Yanez emerged victorious via first-round TKO, and he considers it to be the most satisfying win of his career, so far.
“Absolutely. There was just an extra added thing to it whenever I was fighting him. Because in the middle (of the fight), when he started talking a little bit more shit, I was like, ‘Oh, I really don’t like you.’”
Currently on a five-fight win streak since entering the UFC via Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020, Yanez (16-3) also won a $50K bonus for Performance of the Night. It is also his fifth-consecutive time to be awarded a post-fight bonus.