Yair Rodriguez won the interim featherweight title in style tonight at UFC 284 with a scintillating display of striking against Josh Emmett from start to finish, capped off by a glimpse of his submission skills too as he sunk in a triangle choke from his back late in the second round.
The two eyeball each other from range in the first 30 seconds. Front kick to the body from Rodriguez. Low kick for him now.
Head kick attempt from Rodriguez is blocked, but then he follows up with one to the body and Emmett seemed hurt by that, but does his best to disguise it and luckily for him Rodriguez doesn’t press forward to capitalize on it.
Emmett starts pressing forward and Rodriguez drills another hard body kick, but his opponent takes it better this time around.
Rodriguez with lateral movement side-to-side as Emmett pressures him and then threatens with a heavy punch.
Spinning wheel kick misses from Rodriguez, but then follows up with a fast right hand that does land.
Rodriguez looking for more creative attacks here, but a big hook lands for Emmett. Rodriguez with a good knee upstairs, but then Emmett bundles him to the mat.
Rodriguez thinking about fishing for a takedown here from his back, but Emmett is wise to it and steers clear. Emmett posturing over him working for ground-and-pound towards the end of the round and Rodriguez throws hard elbows to the head.
Hard hook lands for Rodriguez, but Emmett connected too. Emmett winging huge overhand rights without connecting as Rodriguez connects with fast kicks.
Body kick and a higher one right afterwards from Rodriguez. Elbow for Rodriguez and Emmett looked a bit wobbled there and now has some damage to his left eye.
Question-mark kick lands for Rodriguez, but Emmett shakes it off. Now an inside leg kick and a winging punch from Emmett misses.
Emmett backs up and moves side to side as he looks to regroup here. Jumping knee from Rodriguez lands but he ends up falling to his back, with Emmett gratefully accepting top control.
Emmett stacks Rodriguez and looks for ground-and-pound. Rodriguez throws up his legs searching for a triangle choke. He’s got it locked in and Emmett quickly taps out at 4.19mins of the second round to become the interim featherweight champ!