Following a split-decision loss to Miles Johns to close out his 2018, bantamweight Adrian Yanez was looking to make a statement in 2019.
In three fights in 2019, Yanez was able to make that statement with three wins, including two finishes in his three victories.
“(Against Warren Stewart) I was able to show my patience and place my punches, and get out a little bit of the frustrations I had,” Yanez told MMAWeekly.com. “In the next fight when I fought Michael Rodriguez, he was a banger and came to fight, and I was ready for it, so that fight just played out the way it did. I was just in the zone when I fought him.
“Then I fought Kyle Estrada, and it was a really tough back and forth fight. He can dish it out. It taught me a lot in that fight. It taught me I could dig down and everything. Overall in 2019 it was great. I was able to learn in each fight. I was able to pick apart the little things here and improve the things I needed to improve.”
Yanez admits that by picking up the three wins in 2019 it really helped get him into a positive mindset for future bouts.
“Going into 2019 I had a little bit of self-doubt,” said Yanez. “I just wasn’t so sure of myself. Stepping into 2020 I have the confidence.
“I used to look at my opponent and be kind of overwhelmed by what they could do, but I started thinking they have to be afraid of what I can do. I’ve gotten so much better from my first fight in 2019 until now. Overall I just feel mentally I’m in a better place and I’m ready to go.”
On Friday in Houston, Texas, Yanez (10-3) will look to pick up his fourth straight win when he faces Ricky Turcios (10-2) in the 135-pound co-main event of Fury FC 43.
“I think I just have to be calculating and just know when to strike,” Yanez said. “(Turcios is) going to have a lot of openings. I just have to measure myself out, set my shots up, and I think I’ll get him out. I think I can get him out in the first round or early second.”
With only one rung on the ladder left to climb in his career, Yanez would like to make that step up happen in 2020.
“I try to go fight by fight, but in 2020 I want to be in the UFC by at least fall and try to get two fights in, if not sooner,” said Yanez. “I think having a fight against a guy like Turcios, who’s fought on Contender Series, and if I beat him what does that say about me.
“I believe I should be on Contender Series or be in line for a call. Let’s say I don’t get the UFC call after this fight, I plan on fighting again by June and staying active. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, and by the end of 2020 I will be in the UFC.”