Chael Sonnen: Yair Rodriguez ‘became eligible’ to be cut by UFC for turning down fight offers

Following a decisive finish over B.J. Penn, former UFC featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez had a bright future ahead of him. However, all of it was cut short when the UFC decided to release him last week for turning down two fight offers against Zabit Magomedsharipov and Ricardo Lamas.

As expected, many cried foul over the UFC’s move to cut “El Pantera” from the roster, but according to former UFC title contender Chael Sonnen, it actually had to be done as part of company policy.

“I did read a post on something that kids call the ‘underground forum’, and they were saying how that was wrong of Dana White to release him for not wanting to fight,” Sonnen said on the recent episode of his Beyond the Fight podcast. “Well, you’re devastatingly wrong about that point. Dana has to do that. He has to make sure (that he’s) maintaining the integrity of his company, (that) the guys are fighting the right guys.”

“This is a UFC policy, and this is explained to all of the guys on the roster from the beginning. You will be called an offer to fight,” he explained. “You can say no to the first fight, but you cannot say no to the second fight. So you play that however you want. You can say no once, you can’t say no twice.”

According to Sonnen, the 25-year-old Mexican fighter made himself “eligible” to be cut by the UFC, simply based on the policy that he explained.

“In Yair’s case, when he turned two guys down, well, of course, you release him. There’s nothing else you can do,” Sonnen said. “It’s not the boxing model where guys get protected or guys get to pick their own fights, or guys can only take fights that they think they can win. It doesn’t work like that.”

“The contenders and the ranked guys have to fight the other contenders and the other ranked guys, whoever they are, as long as they’re in the same weight class. That’s it. So when he said no (twice), he became eligible for (release).”

Rodriguez last fought at UFC 211 a year ago, where he went through a beating courtesy of Frankie Edgar that led to a doctor stoppage at the end of round two.


Fakin A Chael.

So anytime soon I expect Nate and McGregor to get their marching orders too! We have got to keep the integrity of this sport intact.

No, see...

Those guys were only ever "in talks" about fights. No actual fights were "offered".

The rules are not the same for the elite

Not in the UFC. Not in the NFL. Not in life.
Every time I hear someone bring up Nate Diaz or GSP in relation to this situation I cringe. Life is not fair.

At least Paul Daley understands.

tell lance armstrong.

Oliver North for the W1N?

The guy worth 100 million who cheated throughout his entire career?

In fairness

Is it really cheating if everyone else is doing it?

Yeah, it's still cheating, but...

… He was nailed the way he did because he was the face of cycling at the time and had all the lights shining on him. It’s why Landis got nailed as hard as he did after winning the TDF. It’s such a complex scenario but I’m glad it’s finally over with. Everybody got the shit end of the sticker with that whole ordeal.

I'd say so.

It was against the rules.

the guy who lost way more in income who cheated and finally got caught. that guy. the guy now worth 50 mil who could have been worth so much more.

or bill cosby, or harvey weinstein, or al capone. all worth far more than lance armstrong, and all eventually brought down.

it’s almost like the elites don’t always get away with it. it’s almost like shrugging and saying oh well life isn’t fair isn’t a very useful way to look at rich people who commit crimes.

It's almost like you're comparing rapists and murderers to a sports cheat.

Still the goat


He never won a TDF………..

Is Nate even ranked? I am far to lazy to look that up

shit, i ment to put this in the comment above

Whenever someones brings up Diaz/McG/GSP

It makes me cringe to. Nothing to do with each other

Let's talks about Sage, CM Punk, the ghost of Hector Lombard, and Artem Lobov then.........

The rules seem to be quite different for certain non-elite fighters too…….

That's an odd policy

I was never against them cutting him.

People immediately said he refused the fights because he wanted a tune up fight or wanted more money. Of course those scenarios were/are still speculation as far as I know.

If he wanted a step down in combat and the number 13 guy wasn’t enough, then the UFC essentially granted his request.

We all know he’ll be back in the UFC one day anyways, so in the end this works out best for him anyways.

uh wanting a tuneup fight in the ufc is not granted by cutting him from the ufc.

and we don’t know if he will make more in another org or not.

That's not what he was saying.

He was offered number 7 and he said no. Then he was offered a lower ranked opponent at #13…. which could easily be called a tune up fight. He said no.

Maybe coz that #13 was.

the monster that is Zabit Magomedovsharipov. Did I get that right? Because I will gloat if I have.


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