May 30, 2024
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Adrian Yanez sees UFC Fight Night 241 as ‘do or die,’ says training with Diego Lopes reignited love for MMA

Adrian Yanez knows his back his against the wall heading into UFC Fight Night 241. Yanez (16-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC) welcomes Vinicius Salvador to bantamweight on May 18 at the UFC Apex. Both fighters will look to snap two-fight losing skids, and Salvador will be in search of his first octagon win. The 30-year-old, who”, — write: mmajunkie.usatoday.com

Adrian Yanez knows his back his against the wall heading into UFC Fight Night 241.

Yanez (16-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC) welcomes Vinicius Salvador to bantamweight on May 18 at the UFC Apex. Both fighters will look to snap two-fight losing skids, and Salvador will be in search of his first octagon win.

The 30-year-old, who was once considered one of the most highly touted prospects in the UFC, admits he was surprised to draw former flyweight Salvador (14-6 MMA, 0-2 UFC) and knows he’s in a must-win situation.

“I’m in a do-or-die situation in my head right now, so I just don’t want to have to worry about anything,” Yanez told Bloody Elbow.

Yanez’s losses came by stoppage to ranked contenders Rob Font and Jonathan Martinez. The Martinez loss was a tougher pill to swallow.

“That second one (Martinez), the first kick landed, and boom, f*cked my whole leg up immediately,” Yanez said. “I just felt a whole shock in my leg. I felt warm liquid. It felt like my leg was bleeding for a second. … That second one was a lot harder to get over because I had a lot more time to sit back and soak in it because I had to go do surgery after that fight. It also gave me a change of perspective on a lot of things. In my 2023, I got way too comfortable.

“I was comfortable in the position I was at. I had a ranking next to my name, and I was comfortable. I was like, ‘Ah man, I’m fighting the best. I’m here, I’m so close.’ I let my foot off the gas. I started letting others control what I was doing in camp, and I didn’t really have full control. For that Font fight, I was in the greatest shape I’ve ever been in. The Martinez fight I thought I was mentally good there, but walking out to the cage there was still remnants of that loss beforehand. When I was walking out, it was still playing in the back of my head a bit.”

Yanez recently spent time training with red-hot featherweight Diego Lopes (24-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who’s coming off a first-round TKO of Sodiq Yusuff at UFC 300.

“It got me excited,” Yanez said on training with Lopes. “Like, man, whenever you’re around like-minded people like them that want to get better and always want to train, that put a fire beneath my ass, it reignited my love for the game.”

Be sure to visit the MMA Junkie Instagram page and YouTube channel to discuss this and more content with fans of mixed martial arts.

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