Though he was plagued with fights falling through and having multiple opponent changes in 2016, bantamweight prospect Adrian Yanez still managed to pick up wins in his two bouts, and raise his current winning streak to four in a row.
“2016 overall was a rough year for me, but when it came to my fighting, it showed that dedication and hard work prevails,” Yanez told MMAWeekly.com. “My wins over tough opponents were great. I was able to go through adversity and was able to pull through and come out with wins.”
Yanez believes that regardless of who you end up fighting, even if it’s not who you were originally scheduled to face, you should be able to adapt and perform against any opposition.
“It’s just part of the sport,” said Yanez. “I understand weight issues like if someone’s six pounds overweight, but you’ve got to be able to fight anybody on any given day.
“You’ve got to have a well-rounded game to beat anybody. On any given day you can lose or win. You’ve got to take those fights and do what you will with them to prove you’re the best fighter around. With those short-notice fights, that’s what I had to do.”
On Friday in Houston, Yanez (5-1) faces possibly his toughest challenge to date when he takes on fellow up and comer Domingo Pilarte (6-1) in a 135-pound co-main event at Legacy Fighting Alliance 7.
“If I just keep fighting true to myself and keep the right state of mind during the fight, I’m pretty sure I’ll win,” Yanez said. “Whenever you’re fighting Domingo, it’s all mental. He’s a tough opponent. He’s very well-rounded. But I feel I have the tools to beat him.
“You have to be mentally tough. He comes out tough and looks to finish people. He has all the tools to win a fight and be a great fighter, but if you’re mentally there, you can beat him. I’ve been through so much that I don’t believe he’ll break me.”
Having got caught before looking too far ahead of himself, Yanez is intent on taking things slowly and only keeping his mind towards the direct task at hand as he moves forward in 2017.
“I’m looking fight-by-fight,” said Yanez. “I’m looking at the fight ahead of me. Sometimes I like to have a plan of what I want to do, but the minute you’re overlooking somebody is the minute you lose.
“I’m just looking forward to Domingo. The minute I look over somebody, I’ll take a loss, so I’m never doing that again. I do have goals of what I want, but I’ve got to get through Domingo first.”