We witnessed a thrilling battle at UFC 284 as Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett clashed for the interim featherweight title. This highly anticipated co-main event saw Rodriguez’s creative kickboxing against Emmett’s deadly knockout power. Both have a reputation for putting on exciting events, and this match was no exception.
The bout was for the interim featherweight title because champion Alexander Volkanovski moved up to challenge Islam Makhachev at lightweight. The winner of this event would face Volkanovski, regardless of the result in the main event.
🚨 Yair Rodriguez beats Josh Emmett by submission. He hit him with the Triangle!#UFC284 pic.twitter.com/e3JghsuJwg
— CulturedUpdates (@CulturedUpdatez) February 12, 2023
Round one saw Rodriguez coming out in the orthodox stance and landing leg kicks and front kicks to the belly, while Emmett aggressively pressured forward. Rodriguez’s kicks were causing problems for Emmett, who struggled to get a strike attempt off. Rodriguez’s round body kick from southpaw position hurt Emmett and made him back off. Although Emmett was able to corner Rodriguez against the fence, Rodriguez’s slick footwork allowed him to escape and circle out.
Yair Rodriguez submits Josh Emmett with a triangle choke to win the interim UFC featherweight championship at UFC 284 pic.twitter.com/2Y9cme0Zp7
— Takedown Defense (@ChillemThreebo) February 12, 2023
With ninety seconds left in round one, Emmett landed a big right hand that hurt Rodriguez, causing him to fall to his back. Emmett then rained down hammer fists and elbows, while Rodriguez looked to throw up a triangle. In the last fifteen seconds of the round, Rodriguez managed to land some good elbows off of his back.
Round two saw an early trade in the pocket where both landed massive shots. Rodriguez continued to work on Emmett’s body, causing him to fade due to the heavy attritional damage. Although Emmett attempted to catch Rodriguez’s kicks and go for a takedown, Rodriguez was able to break the clinch and continue striking. He slammed southpaw round kicks into the arms of Emmett and landed a powerful elbow that rocked him. Emmett went back to throwing massive shots from outside, but Rodriguez was able to evade them.
With two minutes left in the round, Rodriguez attempted a jump knee that Emmett caught and used to dump him to his back. Emmett was in the full guard of Rodriguez, but Rodriguez was able to throw up armbars and triangles. With fifty seconds left in the round, Rodriguez locked up a triangle, which he tightened rapidly. Emmett, already depleted from body shots, was forced to tap out.
This impressive performance from Rodriguez showcased his dominance on the feet and his improvement on the ground, which was once his weakness. With Brandon Moreno already holding a title for Mexico, Rodriguez’s victory earned Mexico its second UFC title at the moment, with another potentially coming soon from Alexa Grasso.
Yair Rodriguez’s victory earned Mexico its second UFC title at the moment, with another potentially coming soon from Alexa Grasso.
Yair Rodriguez won by submission (triangle choke) in round 2, at 4:19.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.