Until recently, Adrian Yanez was a part-time fighter.
Imagine that. Yanez (12-3) broke into the UFC last year with a lightning fast knockout of Brady Huang on Dana White’s Contender Series. Just over two months later, Yanez flattened Victor Rodriguez with a head kick at UFC Vegas 12.
What a way to start his UFC run. Now, Yanez has turned his recent success in the cage into a full time career in fighting. Gone is his day job — he’s all in when it comes to fighting. “My whole mentality has just been to bet on myself. I’ve kind of been big on that the last couple years, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing,” he explained during this week’s UFC Vegas 22 virtual media day.
“Putting all the chips on my table” is how he put it. Believing in himself. “I know I can do this. And I’m going to go out there and keep proving it. For me, to be able to quit my full time job and do MMA full time has been the biggest blessing.”
Earning a Performance bonus in his debut helped him even further. “There’s absolutely no pressure, because now this is a full time job for me,” said Yanez. Being able to have a full training camp, Yanez said he feels more confident than ever.
It was a heck of a 2020 for Yanez in the end. “It was definitely a roller coaster, it was a lot of ups and downs. But at the end of it, for me, it was really great,” he sated. “All the years of hard work, of me putting in the work to MMA, finally it paid off for me in 2020. Just for it to happen in spectacular fashion on Contenders, and then for my UFC debut, for it to happen the way it did, I couldn’t be any happier. 2020 was a great year for me besides the whole pandemic and everything going on. A lot of craziness happened, but the end of 2020 was really good for me.”
Bantamweight Yanez returns this Saturday at UFC Vegas 22, where he takes on former Combate Americas standout Gustavo Lopez.
Watch the full UFC Vegas 22 virtual media day scrum with Adrian Yanez above.