UFC Mexico brings us a very intriguing fight between Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez. How could one can not be hyped about this fight after Rodriguez’s last knock out against the Korean Zombie. Stephens will be coming from two hard losses against two of the very best in the division, Jose Aldo and Zabit Magomedsharipov. However, his fight against Zabit was a barn burner. It was filled with lightning fast actions and considering how special Zabit is Stephens certainly put up an impressive performance.
So let’s dive into this main event. Here is the Yair Rodriguez vs Jeremy Stephens Prediction.
Last Three Fights:
In the last three fights Rodriguez has 2 wins and one losses. He has beaten Chan Sung Zung and BJ Penn, while he lost to the former UFC champion, Frankie Edgar. Though a win against Penn is not impressive at all, but his win against Zung just goes to show how special he is.
Last Three Fights:
In the last three fights Stephens has lost to Aldo and Zabit. However, he has a knock out victory against Emmett and he also put up a tough fight against Zabit Magomedsharipov.
The one thing that separates Jeremy Stephens from rest of the fighters in the division is his experience inside the octagon. He has fought multiple generation of fighters in his fighting career. Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis, Max Holloway are some the opponents with whom Stephens has shared the octagon.
Stephens has vicious knock out power. Normally he is the aggressor in the fight. So he will be likely to close the distance against Rodriguez. Stephens is not known for his wrestling or grappling abilities, however he can do some serious damage in the clinch or in the boxing range.
Rodriguez is highly talented when it comes to technicality in the fight game. Spinning kicks, jumping kicks, knock out with elbows, he has got some of the most unpredictable weapons in his arsenal. However, Frankie Edgar found the cheek in Rodriguez’s armor. Edgar took the fight to the ground and did enough damage with his ground and pound to finish the fight. So Rodriguez is vulnerable to a solid ground game.
If Rodriguez beats Stephens then he will make a strong argument for a title shot in near future for sure.
So how the fight between these two would go?
Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez are very different fighters and that’s what makes this fight interesting. We can not compare these two fighters skills by skills and come up with a prediction.
Stephens is old school, got a good footwork and boxing skills. What works the best for Stephens is his power. So if he tags Rodriguez then he is going for the finish without a second thought. He will have to close the distance against Rodriguez to nullify Rodriguez’s kicking game. Rodriguez is unpredictable when it comes to striking. However, if Stephens can close the distance then it won’t allow Rodriguez to throw a spinning kick or his body kicks.
Stephens is not likely to take the fight to the ground, but he can do some damage in the clinch for sure. That’s when his power will come to the picture.
One thing that can not be denied is Rodriguez can take some hard shots. His fight against the Korean Zombie just proves that. Also Rodriguez can go all 5 rounds without any issue with his cardio, so that will be an advantage in his main event.
Rodriguez’s footwork is very unpredictable. He can move sideways, creating an angle for a leg kick. Or he can come up with a jumping knee or a face kick from.
Considering everything Rodriguez seems to be the favorite in this fight. He can go all 5 rounds against Stephen if needed and fight at a fast pace. Stephens is a power puncher and if he throws them often in the fight or tries to take Rodriguez down then it will affect his pace and conditioning. Yair Rodriguez seems to have the tools to get his hands raised against a veteran such as Jeremy Stephens.
Yair Rodriguez vs Jeremy Stephens Prediction:
Yair Rodriguez via Stoppage