Canelo Alvarez is the biggest combat sports star in Mexico today, but that may not be the case down the road.
UFC featherweight Yair Rodriguez, an exciting 24-year-old from Chihuahua, Mexico, believes that he'll take over that moniker in no time at all. While that statement may be a bit of a stretch, it's no doubt that the young man holds a tremendous amount of potential.
Rodriguez has been on quite the tear lately and with a big win over Frankie Edgar at UFC 211 on pay-per-view (PPV) from Dallas, Texas on May 13th, he could very well propel himself into a new tier of superstardom.
'El Pantera' recently did an interview to promote his bout against Edgar, and explained why he thinks he will soon be Mexico's biggest star (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“What is happening to me, this is not luck,” Rodriguez said. “I work hard every day — like, really, really hard.
"My coach is here; he would slap me in the face if I lied. Every single aspect of my game, I work on every (expletive) day.
"I wake up thinking about it, I eat thinking of it, and I train thinking all my life is around just one thing, and that’s to become the best fighter in the world. That’s it.”
“I can be bigger (than Alvarez),” Rodriguez said. “Mexican people, they already have a lot of boxing stars. But they don’t have an MMA star in Mexico.
"It’s just me. I’m going to be that star. I’m already a star in Mexico, but I’m going to be even bigger than that, because I have all the Latin American market behind me, and part of the United States market. I have all these advantages.
“A lot of people from Brazil and Russia and Europe, they follow me; they send me messages and follow me. I feel blessed.”
Canelo has a big fight tonight (Sat. May 6, 2017) as he takes on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. live on pay-per-view (PPV) from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
He is currently on a six-fight win streak since suffering his first and only loss of his career against Floyd Mayweather Jr. back in 2013.
The bout will prove to be an interesting one as two of Mexico's top stars go head-to-head on Cinco De Mayo weekend. It's sure to be a barn-burner.
What do you think of Rodriguez's comments? Will he one day be as big or bigger of a star in Mexico than Canelo?
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