Yair Rodriguez documentary 'El Pantera' premieres this week at New York Latino Film Festival

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Mexican featherweight Yair Rodriguez is one of the UFC’s most promising young talents, and now there’s a film to tell the story of the 25-year-old striking specialist.

“El Pantera,” directed by The Mash-Up King, premieres this Saturday as an official selection of the New York Latino Film Festival.

What’s it about? Here’s the official synopsis:

“El Pantera” is a documentary film chronicling the rise of Mexican UFC Fighter Yair Rodriguez. The film addresses macro topics such as the immigration, the American Dream and life as professional MMA fighter.

Rodriguez (10-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC), who had won six in a row, is coming off a TKO loss to Frankie Edgar in May. Rodriguez has since taken time off but hopes to fight before the end of the year.

You can see the trailer for “El Pantera” above.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC featherweight Yair Rodriguez explains potential move to Team Alpha Male

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

UFC featherweight Yair Rodriguez’s quest to be the best could take soon him to Sacramento.

Rodriguez (10-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) aims to cross-train – and get some more sun – after several years in chilly Chicago.

The 24-year-old standout has checked out super gyms Alliance MMA, Kings MMA, 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu and Team Alpha Male. In the latter, he sees a good fit.

“I’m just looking around to see what is best for me, what’s the kind of training I’m looking for,” he said backstage during this past Saturday’s UFC 215 event in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Rodriguez said he liked the work at Chicago’s VFS Academy, where he migrated after participating in a development program for Mexican fighters at the famed Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, N.M. But in the end, the environment proved a little too harsh.

“When I’m in my house, I want to rest or mediate or go to the beach, and sometimes in Chicago that was really hard,” he said.

Rodriguez still trains with Donald Cerrone and could head back to the UFC welterweight’s “BMF” ranch as he prepares for a UFC Fight Night 118 headliner with fast-rising Darren Till.

Rodriguez said he could also return to Jackson-Wink, or even get in some work in Iowa, where UFC welterweight Mike Perry trains.

But the young upstart wants some different looks after a high-profile setback against ex-lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. Team Alpha Male, which houses several top UFC fighters, including UFC bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt, is a leading contender.

“I’m just trying to see from an outside perspective where I’m failing,” Rodriguez said.

The UFC featherweight has yet to handle the details of the move, like where he’ll live. But he said there’s an open invitation from Team Alpha Male founderUrijah Faber for his start. The two met recently during a trip to Mexico City.

“It was in my plans anyways,” Rodriguez said. “But now that Urijah told me, it makes things a lot easier.

“I’m just looking for new air. New looks. More experience when it comes to partners. They have Cody there, (who) has a lot of experience. It’s because of that that I’m moving.”

“Painter” doesn’t plan to go it alone. He’s already asked Faber about possibly bringing striking coach Mike Valle to Team Alpha Male.

“In the next few weeks, I’ll be doing some changes in my training camp and my life,” Rodriguez told MMAjunkie. “Big changes take a lot of effort and energy, but I’m willing to do it to get better and perform better in my next fights.”

To hear from Rodriguez on his future, check out the video above.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

How Yair Rodriguez has been dealing with first UFC loss

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Yair Rodriguez won’t go so far as to say his first UFC loss was a good thing, but he’ll tell you he’s learned a lot from it.

Rodriguez (10-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) was coming off his most high-profile win yet – a second-round TKO  victory over former two-division champ and UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn – when former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) came into the picture.

For Rodriguez, who’d been looking increasingly sharp with every octagon outing, a pay-per-view main-card spot against an ex-champ had the makings of a career-defining moment. But it was Edgar who rose above at UFC 211, dominating Rodriguez for two rounds before a badly swollen eye deemed the rising star unable to continue.

The win turned Edgar into the most likely challenger to champ Max Holloway’s recently-conquered featherweight belt. For Rodriguez, it provided another opportunity: growth.

“I learned a lot from that fight,” Rodriguez told MMAjunkie. “I actually think that it was – I’m not saying good, but I’m learning a lot from it. I feel like I used to have a lot of weight on my back. And now that I lost, that fear went away. So now, whatever happens, I don’t care. I don’t really care. I’m just only looking one way, and that’s forward.”

Rodriguez, No. 14 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, has since taken some time off to travel, visit his family and tend to some media obligations. But he’s also been working on addressing what exactly went wrong. That involved being back at the gym the Monday after the fight – with the limitations imposed by the hurt eye, of course – and exhaustively reviewing what happened during it.

“I was moving; I was doing some light sparring, some shadow-boxing,” Rodriguez said. “You’ve got to keep going – shake it off and move on. I was watching the film of the fight several times a day, for probably like two weeks just to see what I was doing wrong. And, well, I learned from it.”

Ultimately, Rodriguez doesn’t want to make excuses for the setback. Edgar, he said, did a great job. But in hindsight, Rodriguez thinks something was off about his own mindset that night.

“I think my mental side, it wasn’t there,” Rodriguez said. “I trained really hard. I always train really hard. And I think the most important thing sometimes in a fight is being healthy up here – in your thoughts, or whatever. And I wasn’t. I just wasn’t. I wasn’t there. I lost the fight, I accept the loss, and I don’t want to put any excuses.”

Was it maybe the added weight that came with not only being a young, exciting prospect – but one who became such a key piece when it came to the Latin American fanbase and market?

“Probably, a little bit,” Rodriguez said. “But I can tell you it wasn’t an excuse. Because I feel a lot of support. But I used to feel a lot of pressure, as well. Even myself – I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. Either in training or my life.”

After a busy few weeks, Rodriguez said he’s now looking to slow down on the media obligations, take one week off to rest and review things, and get back at it. He’d like to fight once more before year’s end. As for whom that return might be against, Rodriguez neither knows nor cares. He does know one thing, though.

“I don’t ask for opponents,” Rodriguez said. “But whatever comes, I’ll be ready for it. Like I’m telling you – if I used to be afraid, I’m not anymore.”

To hear more from Rodriguez, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC 211, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie