The UFC’s bantamweight division is filled with rising talent, and Adrian Yanez has a list of names he wants to face on his way to the top.
Undefeated through four fights under the UFC banner, Yanez (15-3 MMA, 4-0 UFC) has quickly turned heads with his performances. Entering the promotion from Dana White’s Contender Series where he finished his job interview fight in 39 seconds, the Houston-area product went on to finish his first three opponents in the UFC.
His peers have noticed his skills and some have called him out in hopes to be the one to hand him his first loss in the promotion. At UFC on ESPN 37 on June 18 at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, he will get the chance to face one of them, Tony Kelly.
“I’ve had a couple of people call me out,” Yanez explained to All Access MMA. “Tony Kelly is one of them. Nate Maness is one of them. And also the biggest name, ‘Sugar’ Sean (O’Malley) called me out. Again, they all called me out and they’re all going to see me at one point.
“It’s also why I took this Tony Kelly fight. He called my name. You call and you shall receive. I’m here. The fight is only a couple of weeks away. I can’t wait.”
Kelly recently received backlash for his controversial comments while cornering Andrea Lee at UFC on ESPN 36, who was fighting against Vivian Araujo. “That’s what they’re going to do – they’re dirty f*cking Brazilians,” Kelley told Lee in the corner. “They’re going to f*cking cheat like that.”
The comments from Kelly gave Yanez more motivation to secure a stoppage in their upcoming fight.
“Already wanted a finish, but now it’ll be more satisfying,” Yanez wrote on Twitter.
Yanez’s previous outing in November was the first of his UFC career that went the distance. Davey Grant took him to the final horn, but Yanez walked away with a split decision victory. After the fight, Yanez received a call out from O’Malley. The pair had gone back and forth prior to the callout, but this time O’Malley issued a date, as he wanted to set up a meeting for March. While that date has passed, Yanez certainly wants O’Malley to be a part of his future plans, among other bantamweights.
“I have a checklist,” Yanez said. “Tony Kelly is first. Nate Maness can be next or ‘Sugar’ Sean can be next or whatever. Whatever order it is I’m going to get them, all of them. Call my name out and you’re going to see me.”