Featherweight prospect Yair Rodriguez hopes to become a contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) soon. This Sunday night (Jan. 15), he’ll go toe-to-toe with a former lightweight and welterweight champion. He also happens to be a UFC Hall of Famer. The man sharing the Octagon with “El Pantera” will be B.J. Penn.
Rodriguez knows what’s at stake in this bout. In a video from the official YouTube channel of the UFC, The Mexican warrior talked about his opponent:
“It’s just an amazing opportunity for me. I used to watch him [B.J. Penn] and he was some guy that I looked up to. I don’t know how that sounds for you guys, but for me it’s a big deal.”
While Rodriguez gave Penn his due, he also made it clear that he has his own vision.
“He represents the old school of MMA. He has all the technique and experience. He knows what it takes to be a champion. He said he wants to go for a third belt, but man I’m here too. I wanna do the same thing. I’m wild, I’m young, I’m just hungry.”
Penn recently said there are too many positives for him to walk away from the sport. “The Prodigy” is happy to get back inside the Octagon to throw down with “El Pantera.” Rodriguez feels the fight will be his moment to shine.
“He already had his time to do everything he could do. Now it’s my time.”
The upcoming UFC Fight Night event will be held inside the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. The prelims will air at 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. The action will continue at 10 p.m. ET with the main card. The co-main event will feature a lightweight scrap between veteran Joe Lauzon and former Bellator contender Marcin Held.