Yair "El Pantera" Rodriguez is the current #3 ranked UFC Featherweight fighter with a professional MMA record of 13-wins, 3-losses, and 1-no-contest. Rodriguez has a yellow belt in taekwondo and was a former PMP Featherweight Champion.
Yair Rodriguez started his combat sports journey at age 5 when he started learning taekwondo.
Yair eventually started training MMA and made his professional debut in 2011 at FMP (Mexican Fighters Promotions) 8 against Jonatan Guzman. Rodriguez defeated Guman via unanimous decision.
Rodriguez went on to win his next 2-fights before facing defeat at the hands of Roberto Herrera at Mexican Fighter Promotions 19. Yair bounced back and won his next-to-fights to amass a record of 5-1 following, which he signed with the UFC as a participant in the Ultimate Fighter: Latin America.
Yair Rodriguez Ultimate Fighter
Yair Rodriguez started his Ultimate Fighter journey as a Featherweight fighter for Team Velasquez. Rodriquez was dominant on the show as he defeated Humberto Brown in the quarterfinals via second-round triangle choke submission and Rodolfo Rubio in the semi-finals via first-round verbal submission(kicks and punches to book a spot in the final.
Rodriguez faced Leonardo Morales in the finale at UFC 180 and defeated him via unanimous decision to win the show and get a UFC contract.
In his first fight at TUF: Latin America, Yair Rodriguez defeated Humberto Brown in the quarterfinals via a triangle choke submission. Followed by his first win, Rodriguez picked up another crucial victory over Rudolfo Rubio in the semifinals via submission to reach the finals.
Yair Rodriguez UFC
Following the Ultimate Fighter victory, Rodriguez fought Charles Rosa at UFC 188. The fighters put on a Fight of the Night bonus-worthy contest that Rodriguez won via split decision. He next defeated Dan Hooker at UFC 192 and KO'ed Andre Fili at UFC 197 to earn his first Performance of the Night bonus.
Yair got his first UFC main-event fight against Alex Caceres at UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs. Caceres. Yair won the close fight via split decision and defeated B.J Penn in his next UFC main-event fight before fighting UFC Veteran Frankie Edgar at UFC 211.
Edgar used his experience to dominate Rodriguez on the feet and grappling that led to vicious ground-and-pound that caused a swelling on Yair's left eye and the fight to end at the end of round-2 by doctor's stoppage.
Yair next replaced Frankie Edgar to fight Chan Sung Jung at UFC Fight Night: the Korean Zombie vs. Rodriguez. Rodriguez TKO'ed the Korean Zombie in the last second of the 5th round to get the record for the Latest Knockout in UFC History,
He next fought Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs. Stephens. The bout ended in 15-seconds due to an accidental eye poke by Rodriguez that resulted in Stephens being rendered unable to fight. The fighters rematched at UFC on ESPN 6 that led to Yair winning by unanimous decision.
In December 2020, USADA retroactively suspended Rodriguez for 6-months for failing to notify USADA of his whereabouts and being unavailable for drug testing. The suspension ended in March 2021.
Rodriguez next fought Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Rodriguez in a back-and-forth that ended with Holloway winning via unanimous decision.
Yair Rodriguez vs Max Holloway
Yair Rodriguez fought Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night 197. Rodriguez was on the back foot of the first round as he was able to connect with his leg kicks but failed to stop Holloway's aggressive boxing punches and counter-strikes. The same continued in the second round with both fighters increasing their volume and Max still being the aggressor.
Rodriguez got dominated in the third round as Holloway knocked down Rodriguez and administered heavy ground-and-pound that Rodriguez managed to survive. The fourth round was the same as the third round with the increase in the number of strikes and Rodriguez showing his technical prowess by escaping a standing guillotine attempt though still getting ground-and-pounded.
Rodriguez connected with a big elbow in the fifth round to open a cut on Holloway. Despite this, Holloway outstruck Yair in the round as the fight went to the judges' scorecard.
Yair Rodriguez lost the fight via unanimous decision.
credit: MMA FIghting
Yair Rodriguez Stats
Wins by KO/TKO:
Wins by Submission:
WIns by Decision:
71 in (180 cm)
145 lb / 66 kg
Yair Rodriguez Last Fight
Yair Rodriguez's last fight was against Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night 197: Holloway vs Rodriguez. Yair lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Yair Rodriguez Record
Below is the professional MMA record of Yair Rodriguez: