So far in 2019, bantamweight Adrian Yanez has been able to shake off the loss he closed out 2018 on with two straight wins this year.
Following a defeat to Miles Johns at November at LFA 55, Yanez has managed to pick up finishes of Warren Stewart and Michael Rodriguez in his two bouts in 2019 to get things back on track in strong fashion.
“I fought Miles in November, and then the fight was offered in January (versus Stewart) and I was pretty happy with it,” Yanez told MMAWeekly.com. “It was a good warm up. I just felt great walking in there. I felt confident. I didn’t think there was anything that guy could do to me.
“This last one (against Rodriguez) I had that same feeling. I felt like I’ve already fought some of the best in Texas, so I just walked in there and displayed my skills pretty much. They were good opponents, but I feel that I was way above the level that they were.”
Since the loss to Johns, Yanez feels like he’s made a lot of improvements in his game, specifically his mentality, which has helped lead to his rebound this year.
“I feel I’ve matured,” said Yanez. “I feel that much smarter. I’m smarter than I was last year. I’m taking calculated risks. I’m seeing things.
“I’m implementing stuff from training into my fights. I don’t just throw it out the window and start winging it. I’m implementing what I’ve been training and doing it. I feel like I’m getting smarter in the fight game.”
This Friday in Dallas, Texas, Yanez (9-3) will look to avenge a loss from 2014 when he rematches Levi Mowles (11-4) in the 135-pound main event of LFA 73.
“I feel like we both know what each other wants to do,” Yanez said. “(Mowles) knows I want to stand and trade and I know he wants to take me to the ground and submit me, so it’s basically the same fight as the first time, but we’ve both gotten better in what we do.
“I know that first fight I walked into the cage a little too cocky and overconfident. I wasn’t thinking too much of Levi, and I went in there with my guard down, and he popped me with a good shot that broke my jaw. I’m not letting that happen this time around.”
While a main event win in the LFA could be a springboard for Yanez to the next level, the more important thing to him is staying busy the remainder of the year.
“I’ve got to see where it goes after this fight,” said Yanez. “My plan in my head right now is that I want to fight as soon as possible so I can get into the big show, the UFC, that’s the big goal. A good win over Levi puts me into that status.
“I would like to keep fighting. If that’s another fight for the LFA, then I’m okay with that, but I do plan on fighting for a title. If I get a call, I get the call, but I just want to keep fighting. I don’t want to slow down. I want to keep my activity level up.”