Chael Sonnen says Yair Rodriguez violated a policy and had to be released as a result.
Fans and media members were stunned when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White announced that the promotion had released Rodriguez. “El Pantera” was highly touted by the UFC as the next Mexican star. While he lost badly to Frankie Edgar, there was still value in Rodriguez.
While “El Pantera” was known for his exciting fighting style, he was also at the forefront of the UFC’s push to find its place in the Mexican market. The promotion cooled down on those efforts and felt releasing Rodriguez was no great loss. Rodriguez was released for refusing to take fights with Zabit Magmomedsharipov and Ricardo Lamas. At least that’s what White claims.
In a recent video on his YouTube channel, Sonnen explained why he feels the UFC had no choice but to release “El Pantera” (via Bloody Elbow):
“I did read a post on something that kids call the ‘Underground Forum’, and they were saying how that was wrong of Dana White to release him for not wanting to fight. Well, you’re devastatingly wrong about that point. Dana has to do that. He has to make sure (that he’s) maintaining the integrity of his company, (that) the guys are fighting the right guys. This is a UFC policy, and this is explained to all of the guys on the roster from the beginning. You will be called an offer to fight. You can say no to the first fight, but you cannot say no to the second fight. So you play that however you want. You can say no once, you can’t say no twice.”
Rodriguez has gone 8-1 in his last nine outings. He’s earned a professional mixed martial arts record of 10-2. In those 10 victories, Rodriguez has nabbed five knockouts and two submissions. At the age of 25, Rodriguez is sure to be highly sought after by other promotions.
Do you agree with the UFC’s decision to release Yair Rodriguez?