Almost the second Yair Rodriguez submitted Josh Emmett at UFC 284, he was consoling his opponent.
Rodriguez revealed his post-fight words to Emmett after his second-round triangle earned him the interim UFC featherweight title, and he said his message was meant to motivate Emmett.
“This moment is very important for us and after I had completed the triangle I saw in his expression desperation, like, “F ***,I lost,” Rodriguez said following Saturday’s pay per view event in Perth. It was almost like he lost his chance, but it’s not. I wanted to tell him that ‘No.’ Hey, no. You don’t need to think that way. You’re a warrior. You will overcome this. You got this.’
“The only thing that I could tell him was “You’re an a fighter, brother.” We always find a way of standing up when we’re knocked to the ground. He will, I know, be strong and we will see each other again in the future. Keep strong, brother .”
Rodriguez put on a masterful display of martial arts, surprising Emmett with a series of bruising kicks to the body and showing his toughness after rebounding from a first-round knockdown. Emmett suffered his first defeat in six of his previous outings.
The win made it two in a row for Rodriguez after a decision setback to ex-champ Max Holloway, which temporarily brought to a halt his campaign to win a featherweight title.
Rodriguez stated that Emmett was speaking from his experience because of the setbacks he had experienced on his UFC journey.
” These are the demons you must fight in every day of your life. The what-ifs,” said he. What if it’s impossible? Some of those things never become true, so the only thing you can do is live your life the best way possible, avoiding the most mistakes you can, and do the best you can. Stop thinking like that. That being said, I have been learning to defeat my demons each day and winning them .”
Rodriguez now moves on to the next challenge: Alexander Volkanovski (undisputed featherweight champion). Rodriguez left RAC Arena with the sting from his loss to Islam Makhachev, a lightweight champion.
Asked whether he thought Volkanovski might be diminished by his recent fortune, Rodriguez gave Volkanovski the benefit of the doubt.
“Bro, he’s fighting for the 155-pound division Yair Rodriguez’s post-fight message to disappointed Josh Emmett: ‘Stop that thinking that you have right now’
against Islam Makhachev — he’s not fighting a nobody,” Rodriguez said. Islam is hard. We’ve seen the Russian guys fighting in this company, they’re super tough, and he was able to go in there and demostrate that he’s capable of also winning, because the fight was pretty close.
“I think he did a pretty good job. I just think the fight between he and I will be as it has to be. I do not see any reason why he should be absent 100%, and I will attend 100% .”
Rodriguez expects that he will not need to use the same submission techniques he had against Emmett when he gets into the cage with Vokanovski.
” “I believe he is quick and I think he has explosive wrestling and jiu jitsu defense,” said he. “So I think the fight between he and I will stay standing up. The fight will be closer to a striking one. It all comes down to which strategy is better and can maintain it while adjusting when it stops working .”