Adrian Yanez Nearly Scrapped Rob Font Matchup

Adrian Yanez is set for the biggest opportunity of his career against Rob Font at UFC 287, but apparently he was willing to decline that matchup in favor of a fight in his home state.

Currently the UFC’s #13-ranked bantamweight, Yanez has earned five victories since winning a UFC contract on Contender Series 2020. The 29-year-old scored a quick knockout against Brady Huang to join the promotion and has continued that trend by stopping four out of his five UFC opponents.

Yanez’s last victory over Tony Kelley was a particularly meaningful one, both because of how brutally he finished Kelley and because he was fighting in Austin, Texas. The Houston-based fighter clearly had the support of the crowd during that bout, and he recently told MMA Underground’s John Morgan that he was hoping to face Font in Texas but couldn’t convince the latter’s team to budge on their preferred timing.

“Honestly, if I’m being 100% honest, I told them I wanted San Antonio no matter what,” Yanez said. “And pretty much I was like – I was going back and forth and I was telling them like ‘Look, what’s two weeks?’ Like what is two weeks, initially. We still have such a long time until then, what is two weeks? And pretty much that was their message being relayed, they were like ‘No, we need that extra two weeks.'”

“Let’s Try And Get Somebody Else”

A fight with the #6-ranked Front is a massive opportunity for Yanez to establish himself as a top bantamweight, but the 29-year-old was so set on fighting in Texas that he explored every possible option to make that happen.

“I was like, ‘Well fine, let’s try and get somebody else.’ I wanna fight in San Antonio, I wanna fight in front of my home crowd. I feel like that is a perfect setup, because right after I fought in Austin and coming back to fight in San Antonio. I have a lot of family in San Antonio, I feel like I would get a big pop in San Antonio. I know the demographic down there, I know how everything is setup down there. It’d be a pro-Yanez crowd no matter who I fought. I wanted that, ‘cause I got the taste of it in Austin, I wanted to get a bigger taste of it in San Antonio. Just to lead up to whenever I inevitably come back to Houston.

“But yeah, I was like ‘Well if we can’t get Rob Font, let’s get somebody else.’ And then they came back and were like ‘Well, this is the only fight that’s really kind of on the table. Nobody else is – yeah, this is the only fight.’ And I was like, ‘You know what, screw it.’ I don’t care, I just want a fight now. I really don’t care who it is. You couldn’t do two weeks, but you’re giving me an extra two weeks to prepare so you’d better be ready for that.”

Yanez finished Tony Kelley in the first round in his only fight of 2022. (Zuffa LLC)

Yanez did go on to admit he was excited by the idea of a matchup with Font once it was finalized, and the 29-year-old will carry a nine-fight win streak into the bout compared to his opponent’s current two-fight skid.

Font’s current run is the first losing streak of career, and he’ll enter the fight with Yanez having already shared the cage with some of the sport’s best bantamweights. His last two losses came at the hands of Marlon Vera and José Aldo, but prior to that he was on a four-fight winning streak that included wins over Marlon Moraes and Cody Garbrandt.

No location has been announced yet for UFC 287, and aside from Yanez vs. Font the only other confirmed fight for the card is a women’s strawweight bout between Cynthia Calvillo and Lupita Godinez.

What do you think of the fact that Yanez was willing to scrap the Font matchup so he could fight in Texas?

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