UFC release Mexican featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez from exclusive contract


The UFC has released Mexican featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez from his exclusive contract, according to organization president Dana White.

White informed the Los Angeles Times of his decision to cut Rodriguez from the UFC roster on Thursday.

According to White, Rodriguez (10-2) turned down several proposed bouts, including one against Zabit Magomedsharipov for UFC 227 on Aug. 4 in Los Angeles. White also referenced a proposed fight against former title challenger Ricardo Lamas.

“The guy’s off a year, rejects a fight with Lamas and then doesn’t want to fight a guy [Magomedsharipov] below him in the rankings?” White told the Times. “He can go somewhere else. We have no use for him.”

Rodriguez’s representatives were not immediately available to comment.

Rodriguez, 25, was one of the UFC’s most prized prospects as recently as last year. He was a contestant on “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America” reality series in 2014, and actually won the tournament by defeating Leandro Morales in Mexico City.

After winning his first six fights in the UFC, including a stoppage victory over BJ Penn in January 2017, the UFC booked him against former champion Frankie Edgar. Edgar dominated Rodriguez in a second-round TKO, and Rodriguez has not fought since.

Earlier this year, Rodriguez told ESPN he was close to a return, and intended to move to Las Vegas to train at the UFC’s Performance Institute.

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