Following back-to-back undefeated years in 2019 and 2020, bantamweight Adrian Yanez was seeking to continue his success in his first bout of 2021 when he faces Gustavo Lopez at UFC Fight Night in March.
Surprisingly Yanez ended up have a less difficult fight than he was anticipating en route to a third round TKO of Lopez to pick up his sixth straight win.
“I was expecting a grind-ier fight, because I know Gustavo is that type of fighter who will go grit for grit,” Yanez told MMAWeekly.com. “I honestly expected a lot more, but the way everything lined up it went perfectly for the game I play.
“It kicked off my 2021 very great. Especially someone who went three rounds with Merab (Dvalishvilli) and I go in there and finish the guy that says a lot to where I’m at as a fighter. I went out there and pretty much pitched a shutout against Gustavo. I feel like I’m on momentum that can’t be stopped.”
With an opportunity to train more, Yanez believes he’s the most rounded version of himself that he has ever been in his seven year career.
“I feel more complete as a fighter,” said Yanez. “One of the biggest components about my training is that I’m able to do it fulltime. It’s been a blessing. I feel my game is completely rounding out. Instead of focusing on one thing I actually get to focus on technique.
“Out of camp I don’t have to worry about staying in shape because I’m already in shape. All I have to do is go in there, train, learn and stay in shape. It’s been great.”
Yanez (13-3) will look to keep his winning ways going when he faces Randy Costa (6-1) in a 135-pound main card bout at UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw on July 24 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Randy is a very tough and gritty fighter, and an explosive fighter,” Yanez said. “He comes out first round and goes guns blazing. It’s something that excites me. I know that Randy is going to come in and try to take my head off the whole entire fight.
“That will keep me on my toes, and I like being on my toes. I like being uncomfortable and do like to have to think on my feet. I will have to do that against Randy because he will come after me the whole entire time. It’s one of those things I know will bring out the best in me.”
Now that he’s got the ball rolling on his UFC career, Yanez is eager to keep things moving right along for the second half of the year.
“I do want two more fights after the Randy fight,” said Yanez. “I do want to finish my 2021 off pretty strong. I feel like there was too much time from my debut to my second fight so I want to get a little bit more active.
“I like being in shape and like being able to train for something. I know if I have another fight I have to be in the gym. I like being healthy, focused, and motivated. I want to be really active.”