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Featherweight prospect Yair Rodriguez delivers brutal KO at UFC 197

LAS VEGAS — There has been a significant amount of hype behind featherweight prospect Yair Rodriguez and the 23-year-old gave the mixed martial arts world something to talk about with a highlight-reel worthy knockout of Andre Fili in the second round at UFC 197 on Saturday night.

Yair Rodriguez (AP Photo)The winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America” drilled Fili with a jumping switch kick that connected with a sickening thud and immediately separated his opponent from his consciousness.

The featherweight bout kicked off the pay-per-view portion of UFC 197 with a bang and put the featherweight division — where Conor McGregor still remains king — on notice.

After a first round that saw Rodriguez takedown an eager Fili, it appeared that Rodriguez had plans to utilize his ground and pound to win the fight. However, in the second frame it all changed when the highly touted prospect showed why he’s arguably one of the most lethal fighters in all of MMA with his feet.

With just enough distance between them, Rodriguez launched into a jumping kick and caught Fili flush with his shin. Fili crashed to the canvas and referee Dan Miragliotta wasted no time jumping in to call a halt to the fight at the 2:15 mark. Meanwhile, Rodriguez already knew what the damage was and was already walking away with the victory in hand.

With the victory, Rodriguez remains unbeaten in the UFC with a 4-0 record (7-1 overall). But, more importantly, it appears that there’s another featherweight that could challenge for the title sooner than later.


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