Yair Rodriguez vows to 'finish' Max Holloway in UFC Fight Night main event after lengthy absence

Yair Rodriguez has vowed to 'break' Max Holloway during their main event showdown at UFC Fight Night this weekend.

Yair Rodriguez says he is going to 'finish' Max Holloway during their main event showdown at UFC Fight Night in the early hours of Sunday morning. 

The Mexican star was due to fight the Hawaiian-American a few months ago, but the former champion was forced to pull out of the featherweight clash due to an undisclosed injury he picked up in training. 

But the pairing remained intact and was rescheduled to UFC Fight Night 197 on November 13, which will likely determine the No.1 contender to Alexander Volkanovski's featherweight title.

It's a fact that's not all that lost on the 29-year-old, who fully intends to seize the opportunity with open arms. 

"I'm sure that the title shot is going to be in front of me," Rodriguez told a news conference. 

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"But first I've got to win against Max. Anything can happen from there. But I'm not focusing on that.

"Right now my main focus is Max Holloway. Saturday 13th at 3pm right here next door [motions with his hand]."

Rodriguez, 29, is one of the most exciting fighters in the crowded featherweight division.

He has been successful on all but one of his nine trips to the octagon including impressive wins over BJ Penn, Andre Fili and Chan Sung Jung. 

Yair Rodriguez celebrates after beating Chan Sung Jung

But he has been out of action since his October 2019 decision win over Jeremy Stephens after being banned for failing to notify USADA of his whereabouts and being unavailable for drug testing.

And despite the lack of activity, 'El Pantera' remains confident he can win in Las Vegas. 

"I know Max is a fighter that can keep up a good rhythm of fighting but I'm think I'm just going to keep on breaking that rhythm," he added.

"I'm not going to let him just get into his rhythm, I'm going to break that before." 

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In response to a question from The Mac Life, he said: "I've been waiting for this for like forever.

"I've been trying to get big names, you know, that's what I've been fighting for all my career, fighting people that are in front of me in the rankings, people that are going to put me in a better position, not guys that are behind me.

"It's just a matter of who's going to be smarter and taking the right decisions. That's what I'm trying to do, take the right decisions. I have a really good team with me and I think we take the right decisions and we're here to move forward.

"I've got to finish him. I've got to go out there and finish the fight. That's what I'm thinking right now. I see the fight probably going long but not to the end and I'm going to finish him before." 

READ MORE: Jorge Masvidal out of UFC 269 clash with Leon Edwards after suffering an injury during training

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