Fighter Spotlight: Adrian Yanez

Fighter Spotlight: Adrian Yanez

Liam Mooney|
April 06, 2023|

Fighter Stats

Record: 16-3 (10 KO, 2 SUB)

Age: 29 (29-11-1993)

Height: 5'7" (170cm)

Weight: 135lbs (61.23kg)

Reach: 70 inches (178cm)

Country: USA

Next Fight: Rob Font (19-6) at UFC 287

Adrian Yanez has been making a name for himself as of late in the UFC's stacked bantamweight division. Yanez is yet another successful winner from "Dana White's Contender Series" who later became a more prominent figure in the company. Taking a lot of inspiration from his late father, who was a golden glove boxing champion, Adrian Yanez has explained how he got into boxing from a young age and knew early in his life that he would be involved in some kind of combat sport. However, it wasn't until later, when Yanez started BJJ, that his passion for MMA kicked in.

Adrian Yanez putting a body shot on Randy Costa. Credits to: Zuffa LLC.
Adrian Yanez putting a body shot on Randy Costa. Credits to: Zuffa LLC.

After a successful amateur record of 6-0, Yanez made his professional debut at just 20 years old in 2014. Notching up a record of 10-3 in promotions such as Legacy FC, Bellator, Fury FC, and LFA from 2014-2019. It wouldn't be until Yanez debuted on "Dana White's Contender Series" in 2020 that Yanez would truly make a big statement on a global stage.

Yanez's 39-second KO victory over Brady Huang in series 28 would earn him a UFC contract and be the start of the incredible run we have seen up until today. Since this fight, Yanez has put together a five-fight winning streak with four KO victories. Additionally, with four performance-of-the-night bonuses' and one fight of the night in his five UFC fights, it's easy to see why Yanez is rapidly becoming a household name and fan favorite.

Yanez scoring a 3rd-round knockout over Gustavo Lopez. Credits to: Zuffa LLC.
Yanez scoring a 3rd-round knockout over Gustavo Lopez. Credits to: Zuffa LLC.

Yanez was set to debut against Aaron Phillips on October 31st, 2020, but Phillips pulled out due to an undisclosed injury. So instead, Yanez faced off against UFC newcomer Victor Rodriguez and won the bout in the first round via a head kick knockout and would earn himself his first "Performance Fight of the Night" award. Riding high on his incredible UFC debut, Yanez would find himself back in the octagon five months later, on March 20th, 2021, and won with a viral walk-off knockout in the third round against Gustavo Lopez.

Fast forward just four months and Yanez would face off against Randy Costa, who seemed to give Yanez his first taste of adversity after being dominated for most of the first round. Yanez would, however, come back in the second and finish his opponent via TKO. Yanez's impressive wins earnt him a new four-fight contract which he would kick off with a bout against Davey Grant. This would be Yanez's only fight to go the distance in the UFC in which he would win via split decision. This decision is, however, highly controversial as many media outlets had scored the fight unanimously for Yanez. This would also be Yanez's first fight of the night bonus.

Yanez's next fight against Tony Kelley would be one of the more heated fights in his career. Kelley had made unsavory comments about Brazillians while in the corner of his girlfriend Andrea Lee as she fought Viviane Araujo. This led to a full-fledged backing of Yanez by much of the MMA community, with many wanting to see him cause damage to Kelley, most notably Gilbert Burns, who publicly stated that he would send Yanez some extra cash if he knocked Kelley out.

Adrian Yanez earning some extra cash. Credits to: Zuffa LLC.
Adrian Yanez earning some extra cash. Credits to: Zuffa LLC.

And this is precisely what Yanez did in the first round in his home state of Texas. Yanez later said that he had a lot of emotion going into this fight and that he genuinely didn't like Kelley, and that he was the first opponent he faced that he wanted to hurt. The rivalry didn't stop there; however, the two had a moment in the octagon post-fight, and both fighters have openly spoken about fighting again in the future.

This victory would put Yanez in the top 15 rankings for the first time, where he currently sits at number 12. He faces off against number 6 ranked Rob Font this weekend at UFC 287 in what is, without doubt, his biggest test thus far. Both men have excellent stand-up abilities and love to fight aggressively. This fight has everything required to be a fight of the night candidate.

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