Yair Rodriguez’s Confession: Mixed Feelings about Facing Brian Ortega at UFC Mexico

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The Mexican fighter Yair Rodriguez is experiencing conflicting emotions ahead of his upcoming matchup with Brian Ortega at UFC Fight Night in Mexico City. 

Rodriguez, who secured a victory over Ortega in their previous encounter via first-round TKO, admits to feeling uneasy about facing his opponent once again.

Scheduled as the five-round co-main event on Saturday, this rematch comes 19 months after their initial bout, where Ortega sustained a shoulder injury during a grappling exchange with Rodriguez, leading to an early end to the fight. 

Despite his previous triumph, Rodriguez, 31, expresses discomfort with the idea of competing against Ortega, 33, whom he holds in high regard.

Addressing the media at Wednesday’s media day, Rodriguez revealed his sentiments, stating, “It’s always weird. I never wanted to fight the guy… I like his family, I like him.” Rodriguez’s reluctance stems from his admiration for Ortega’s Mexican heritage, acknowledging the personal aspect intertwined with their professional rivalry.

Yair Rodriguez’s Octagon Redemption

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The Mexican fighter Yair Rodriguez is experiencing conflicting emotions ahead of his upcoming matchup with Brian Ortega at UFC Fight Night in Mexico City.

Following his interim UFC featherweight title win over Josh Emmett, Rodriguez’s momentum was halted by a TKO loss to Alexander Volkanovski in July. 

Saturday’s rematch with Ortega marks Rodriguez’s return to the octagon since that defeat, as he seeks redemption and a chance to reclaim his status in the division.

Despite his reservations about facing Ortega, Rodriguez sets his sights on new champion Ilia Topuria, expressing a desire to challenge the Georgian-Spaniard. Rodriguez’s aspirations extend beyond his upcoming match, envisioning a future opportunity to vie for the UFC title.

In the main event of UFC Fight Night, former flyweight champion Brandon Moreno will square off against ex-title challenger Brandon Royval for the second time. Moreno, the Mexican fighter, aims to replicate his previous victory over Royval, who succumbed to a TKO due to injury in their previous encounter.

As Rodriguez prepares to step into the octagon once more, his conflicting emotions serve as a testament to the complexities of professional combat sports, where personal connections and competitive drive intersect on the path to victory.

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