“People are going to criticize you if you lose. People are going to criticize you if you win. So, fu*k people.”
Jeez Yair Rodriguez, tell us how you really feel. Actually he did. One half of the UFC Fight Night: Phoenix main event went on The MMA Hour this morning and was all kinds of fired up. He had a lot to say to Ariel Helwani, but his message was clear. He’s here to fight and he’ll take on whoever the UFC puts in front of him. The man they put in front of him is returning MMA legend, BJ Penn.
The TUF: Latin America featherweight winner had a new edge to him which we had not previously seen. Every answer Yair Rodriguez gave was more impassioned than the one before. In regards to Penn, he had nothing but positive things to say. Each time Yair gave an answer, he made sure to say how much of an icon BJ Penn is. That didn’t stop him from telling Helwani how he would end their fight on Sunday.
“If he (BJ Penn) thinks he’s going to get me down and submit me, he’s going to have a big surprise. I will submit him.”
Rodriguez continually insisted that he ‘was ready’ to Helwani. You got the feeling he didn’t mean his fight with Penn. Rather, it seemed he was saying, it’s his time now. He is ready to make a run at the title.
“I’m ready to fight anyone in the world. I’m here to fight everybody. I don’t care who it is. BJ said I asked for this fight. I didn’t ask for this fight. The UFC offered me the fight and I accepted.”
The young Yair Rodriguez is beginning to hit his stride as he enters this fight with Penn.
2014 was the last time fans watched BJ Penn fight inside the Octagon. Going back to 2010, his record is 1-5-1. On paper, things look bleak for “The Prodigy”. BJ does have 1 thing going for him. He is BJ Penn.
Rodriguez and Penn will square off in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Phoenix this Sunday on FS1.