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vs Jeremy Stephens
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 159
Both of these guys have come through some really tough fighters like Frankie Edgar, Jose Aldo, Chan Sung Jung and others and both of them have shown us that they can fight with such big names. Yair Rodriguez will have a slight height advantage which he will definitely use for his atypical kicks but on the other hand we already know that 3 inches won´t be any big problem for Jeremy. He is a type of fighter that can perfectly close distance whenever he wants.
Yair Rodriguez will probably wait a lot at least at first round. That´s something that we could see very often in his fights and not even in the first round. He has perfect movement and that makes it really hard for his opponents to hit him so it doesn´t happen very often that other fighters would easily score some points in striking with him. This all gives him enough space for controlling fight with waiting for the right moment. The only thing where Yair is more active is his legs. Since he is tall and thin he has really nice kicks. He throws a lot of hard body kicks and he also throws amazing spinning kicks. One of his biggest disadvantages is that he is not so strong as other guys in featherweight are. That means that he has far less chance for knockdown by punch. When we take a look at Yair´s wrestling we can see amazing skills in defense. We don´t say that it is impossible to take him down but when you look at some of his last fights you will see that it requires a lot of work and energy to take him down. And when some fighter finally gets it he is still not safe. Yair goes very actively for submissions even from his back.
But we will probably see this situation very rarely in this fight. Jeremy Stephens is another tough striker and he doesn´t want to fight with his opponents on the ground. And for sure he will definitely not want to do that with Yair Rodriguez. In Jeremy´s last fights we could see that he also waits a lot and he is loading that one heavy punch. That gives him smaller chance for controlling the fight against Yair and it will be hard for him to win by decision. But when he will finally throw some punches Yair will need to be very careful because the guy that has a bigger chance to finish this fight by knockout is Jeremy. And Jeremy is definitely able to close that distance and land some heavy shots.
We expect that Yair will have better control of the fight in general and if this fight will go to decision we will probably see Yair´s hand up. But both of these guys have the ability to finish this fight before the time so there is a big chance that we will see some knockout here. There is almost no chance that we would see Jeremy winning by submission. If we will see some submission it will definitely be from Yair´s side probably after some knockdown because we don´t expect a lot of takedown attempts here.