10 Biggest MMA Prospects Pushed Too Soon

10. Yair Rodriguez

Yair Rodriguez has taken great steps to repair his reputation, after terrible match-making and behind-the-scenes issues almost left his career in jeopardy.

By the middle of 2017, Rodriguez was held in high regard by many in the industry. The young Mexican had won the Latin American season of The Ultimate Fighter and won plaudits for his aggressive style and highlight reel knockouts, but with a washed-out BJ Penn marking his biggest win, questions remained over his depth of talent.

At UFC 211, Rodriguez was paired with former champion Frankie Edgar in a number one contender match. Edgar used his superior wrestling to take Rodriguez down at will, hammering the Mexican with heavy ground-and-pound and forcing doctors to stop the match at the end of the second round.

The fight nearly spelled the end of Rodriguez’s UFC tenure; his refusal to take a match with Zabit Magomedsharipov led to him being cut by the promotion, only for the company to reverse their decision three weeks later.

Rodriguez returned to the company’s good graces after a spectacular win over Chan Sung Jung at Fight Night: Denver, with hopes his road to the title is a bit slower then first time round.


Karl Bainbridge hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.