Tue. Aug 16th, 2022

The Beginning:

Welcome to the first installation of a new segment, Deezy’s Dark Horses, where the goal is to highlight some of the brightest prospects or contenders that may not be getting the hype they deserve.

Kicking off the segment is a fighter who’s name not many knew, but now is on everyone’s mind: Adrian Yanez. In the course of three fights, Yanez went from regional circuit/LFA standout, to a prospect some fans are seeing as a potential breakout star, or possibly even the next big thing.

To show what the fanbase is seeing, let’s start with some insight on his career before the UFC.

(Rich Burmaster, Legacy Fighting Alliance)

The Dream:

Before Yanez was captivating fans with his smooth hands and knocking heads off in the UFC, Adrian Yanez was splitting his fights between LFA and Fury FC. However, even if he wasn’t in the UFC yet, he had a dream. Even more impressive, he had a dayjob taking away from his time to train. Amazingly, Yanez still managed to rack up a stellar regional record of 10 wins and only 3 losses. With those losses, comes the note that each fighter he lost to was by a decision, two being splits.

Losing only to Levi Mowles (currently 14-4, #2 unsigned Bantmweight in the unites states), Domingo Pilarte (8-2, current UFC bantamweight), and Miles Johns (11-1, currently 2-1 in the UFC), those losses are hardly anything to discredit Yanez. After a fantastic stint in the LFA, Dana White must have seen what Yanez saw in himself, extending an invitation to fight on Dana White’s Contender Series.

The Realization:

Now one may ask, what did Yanez do with that opportunity? Well… the answer is a lot. After accepting the invitation, Yanez looked to be a man on a mission. In under a minute, he walked out in front of the boss himself and knocked his opponent Brady Huang out with a beautiful combo. After a fantastic regional tour, the big leagues were finally there for Yanez, with a chance to turn that dream into reality. After just two short months, Yanez had the chance to test his meddle against fellow prospect Victor Rodriguez. Yanez continued to leave the judges out of his fights, knocking out Rodrigues in just over a half of a round with a beautiful left headkick. Yanez had gone from being known only by purists, to viral knockout artist.

(Ownership to the UFC, tweet via ESPN MMA)

Now we all know, having one of something is great, but having two? That’s always going to be better. Yanez knew this as well clearly, as he looked to only improve of his first UFC knockout. Following his matchup with Rodrigues, Yanez went on to starch Combates Americas prospect Gustavo Lopez in the third round with a beautiful counter right. Lopez had yet to be finished in the UFC, despite fighting current top 15 Merab Dvalishili, and fellow prospect Anthony Birchak. Despite all of this, Yanez dropped Lopez multiple times and cruised to a knockout victory.

(Ownership to the UFC, tweet via ESPN MMA)

The Future:

With crisp boxing, a mature approach to fighting, and all the talent in the world, Yanez looks the complete part of the next big thing and potentially a future champ. All that comes now? Patience and consistency. Look for Yanez to continue this hot streak, potentially at UFC 262, a card in Yanez’ hometown. Yanez has been petitioning the boss to get a spot on that card now that one fight has been scrapped, and if White wants an entertaining pull with fan appeal, he may have to look no further.

Until next time on Deezy’s Darkhorses, this has been Austin “Deezy” Diroll!

By Austin Diroll

The names Austin, I’m a Young aspiring striking coach . I want to be the future Hooft behind the Usman, the Bareman behind the Adesanya. I got hooked on the sport only a year or two ago but it stole my heart and has been my passion since. I’m looking to bring a fun look into striking breakdowns and shed light on prospects that aren’t being pushed as hard but have arguably more potential !

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