If you’re in the camp that believes Dana White and the UFC released Yair Rodriguez to send a message to other fighters, White’s comments in the UFC Liverpool Post-Fight Press Conferences goes a long way in supporting that.
When asked to provide more information on Rodriguez’s release, White reiterated comments he made immediately following Rodriguez’s release:
“We offered him fights, he turned down the fights. There was a lot more back and forth that went on with that. If you don’t want to fight, this isn’t the place to be. There’s plenty of places out there that will take Yair Rodriguez, and would love to have him, and would sign him, and I’m sure he’ll have a great career. This isn’t the place for you.”
When asked if Rodriguez would be welcome back to the UFC someday, White was unsure, but used the silence that filled the room as an opportunity to make it known to other fighters in the promotion that the UFC is not the place to handpick opponents or refuse fights:
“When I call you and offer you a fight, you should probably take it. You should probably take it. I make 42 fights a year. And if you don’t want to fight, and if you want to be picky and choosy, and you don’t want to do this and you don’t want to do that, then you probably need to go somewhere else. And I’ll help you get there.”
By all appearances, White is not showing any signs of second-guessing his decision to let Rodriguez go and, to the contrary, seems more than willing to have other fighters join Rodriguez in the unemployment line.
Do you believe Rodriguez’s release will change fight negotiations going forward?