Adrian Yanez solidified his status as one of the most exciting prospects in MMA last weekend when he blasted through Tony Kelley to open the main card of UFC Austin. The win moved the bantamweight’s record to 12-3 and extended his winning streak to nine fights.
Yanez’s win over Kelley gained added attention after Yanez hit a stunned Kelley with double-birds. The gesture was a reaction to Kelley’s last appearance near an Octagon. While cornering his girlfriend Andrea Lee, a microphone caught Kelley saying that Lee’s opponent was a “dirty Brazilian” and that Brazilian fighters are cheaters.
The win earned Yanez plenty of fans and also scored him an interview with TMZ — an outlet that usually focuses on MMA’s top needle-movers.
With those gossip-mongers Yanez spoke about what he wants next. And the 28-year-old has a great idea for a fight that would garner plenty of attention (in addition to being a thrilling contest).
“It would definitely be Sean O’Malley. That’s the fight. That’s the fight,” Yanez said.
O’Malley, who recently broke into the bantamweight division’s official rankings, is currently booked to fight Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276 on July 2.
“For me, this is the way I picture it, it would be almost like a Hagler-Hearns type of deal, and I’m Hagler,” added Yanez.
Marvin Hagler vs. Tommy Hearns went down in 1985. The fight is famed for being one of the most exciting (and violent) bouts in the history of televised pro boxing. And that’s despite the bout lasting less than three rounds. Hagler won the bout by TKO.
The late Hagler is renowned for his knockout power, winning 52 of his 62 victories via stoppage. Yanez is currently building a name for himself as a power puncher in MMA. Ten of his sixteen wins, and all but one of his six UFC victories, have come via TKO or KO.
Yanez added that, should he not get to fight a war with O’Malley, he’d also like to face-off with former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.
“A good secondary would be the idol turned the rival. Frankie Edgar. That’s a good second for me.”