UFC featherweight Yair Rodriguez left Jackson-Wink MMA about two years ago to train with Mike Valle at Valle Flow Striking in Chicago, Illinois. The move was entirely without rancor, and Valle had in fact previously taught at Jackon’s.
However, on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 103, Rodriguez fights BJ Penn, who is preparing at Jackson-Wink in Albuquerque, NM. During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Rodriguez said he is entirely unconcerned that his former coaches are now training Penn.
“He’s been training with people that know me really well and are my friends – ‘Cowboy,’ Diego Sanchez, ‘Magician,’ Jackson, ‘Wink,’” said Rodriguez, as transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania. “All of those guys can easily tell him where I’m good at … and not. I don’t really care, I’m a fighter and you have to worry about me at any area of the fighting game. I can wrestle, I can strike and I can grapple and I really don’t give a f***.
“I’m a fighter and I was born a fighter. I’m a champion, I know I’m a champion already.”
Rodriguez is currently ranked #10 in the division, and undefeated in the UFC, where is on a five-fight win streak. The exciting Taekwondo-based Mexican fighter won two Fight of the Nights and one Performance of the Night in his last four fights. He is the winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America Featherweight Tournament.
Given the need of the new UFC owners to realize a return on their four billion dollar investment, an exciting win over Penn could conceivably lead to a fight vs. the winner of division champion Jose Aldo vs. interim champ Max Holloway, or given an injury, could conceivably step in vs. either one.