UFC Cuts Rodriguez For Refusing To Fight Magomedshapirov

Is this goodbye for Yair Rodriguez in the UFC?

Yair Rodriguez (10-2) burst on to the UFC scene as the first winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America. Since then, his exciting and acrobatic style has seen him rise throughout the talent-stacked Bantamweight ranks. The 25 year old headlined and won two UFC Fight Night events, and looked on fire until a TKO loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC 211 last May.

Now Rodriguez has been released by the UFC for refusing to take a fight for UFC 227 on Aug. 4 against either veteran Ricardo Lamas of fellow prospect Zabit Magomedsharipov.

Initially it was known that Rodriguez turned down a fight with Lamas, and when various news outlets began reporting that Rodriguez was set to face Magomedsharipov, the Mexican prospect tweeted:

Then, after the surprising discovery that Rodriguez had been cut, Dana White tweeted:

He explained to the LA Times,

“The guy’s off a year, rejects a fight with Lamas and then doesn’t want to fight a guy below him in the rankings? He can go somewhere else. We have no use for him.
He calls that fight fake news. This is real news.”

It certainly seems like Yair is cut, although don’t be surprised if this is simply a negotiating tactic by the Dana. Yair is a great prospect and could be a much needed star for the relatively untapped Mexican market. Once officially released, Rodriguez will leave the promotion ranked No. 11 in the Featherweight division.