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EXCLUSIVE: Adrian Yanez wants a Frankie Edgar fight but don’t expect a Twitter callout, ‘I respect the hell out of him’

Jason Burgos

Fast-rising UFC bantamweight Adrian Yanez would love an opportunity to face an established star like Frankie Edgar in his next fight. However, don’t expect him to drop F-bombs in a Twitter callout to goad the Octagon legend into a fight.

Yanez, 28, is one of the top prospects in arguably the UFC’s best division. Proof of that came soon after his recent win at UFC Austin on June 18. Inside the Moody Center, just a few hour’s drive from where he grew up, Yanez absolutely blasted Tony Kelley by knockout en route to his fifth straight win in the Octagon. The victory earned him a coveted spot in the bantamweight rankings days later.

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However, no more than a week later after, he was bounced from the top 15 and replaced with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin Umar Nurmagomedov. A fighter with fewer appearances and wins in the promotion. But that’s just how stiff the competition is at 135-pounds. And it’s why he is hoping to land a fight with a name opponent for his next scrap. So he can get back into the rankings and stay there.

Adrian Yanez: ‘I wouldn’t wanna fight Eddie Wineland [next] after he’s been knocked out two times’

adrian yanez, ufc
Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

“Do I wanna fight a guy who’s like 2-2 in his last four? I kinda want to fight a guy who has a good record [in the UFC],” Yanez told Sportsnaut. “It was easier to pull me out of the top 15 because [I beat] Tony Kelley. A guy who was 8-2 at the time, and not even close to the top 25. Like he was close to the back of the bus that it’s so much easier to [say] ‘Umar fought 15-1, Nate Maness, so that win is better than Tony Kelley.’

“I gotta see how the landscape is. Of course, I wanna fight all these guys, but I’ve gotta be a little bit smart,” he added. “Because I want something that pushes me up. I wouldn’t wanna fight Eddie Wineland after he’s been knocked out two times. That wouldn’t make me feel good at all.”

Adrian Yanez on a fight with Frankie Edgar: ‘I am gonna push for it behind the scenes’

adrian yanez, ufc
Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

If it were up to him, a fighter that would check off several boxes for what he hopes for in his next opponent would be former UFC lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar. The two-time featherweight title challenger is currently ranked 11th at bantamweight but has lost four of his last five. So a matchup with a young and unranked rising star might be perfect right now.

However, in an era where many matchups are created with trash talk on social media, Yanez won’t go that route. Firstly, it’s just not his style, but secondly — and more importantly — he respects “The Answer” way too much to ever do that.

“That’s just not my style. As much as I feel a way about a lot of these fighters going about [callouts], I’m just never gonna be that guy. Also. I respect the living hell out of Frankie Edgar. It would be one of those things where, if it’s done I would have to do it with all due respect. And I also wouldn’t want to be in that position to kind of like bad mouth him. Like, ‘Hey, Frankie, what the f***s up, let’s fight.’ Nah. That’s just not me. I gotta be genuine to myself. I am gonna push for it behind the scenes and see what the landscape looks like.

Adrian yanez on possible frankie edgar fight

Yanez moved his overall record to 16-3 last month and has won nine straight fights. Four of his five wins in the UFC have been by knockout.