Behind The Grind recently chatted with bantamweight Adrian Yanez (11-3) after his August 11 Contender Series win.
The Texas native pulled off a quick thirty-nine second knockout over Brady Huang (11-2). His performance earned him praise from Dana White along with a UFC contract.
When speaking about his opponent, Yanez said he felt that he overestimated Huang just a little bit. “I thought he was faster, I thought he was stronger. I was looking forward to a hard fight, but I was also looking for the finish. It was a perfect sequence. It was very technical within the first seconds”.
The 26-year-old said he is still getting used to the idea that he is now a UFC fighter. “Man, I’ve been letting it kick in, but at the same time it’s a little surreal for me. This was a dream of mine. I’ve been working towards it for a very long time. It’s a little surreal, but at the same time I worked hard to get here, so i’m taking it as it goes”.
Yanez said he gained a lot of followers on social media after his win. “I’m still trying to get back to everyone who messaged me on social media. If I didn’t get back to you, I’m so sorry man”.
The Metro Fight Club fighter admits it’s pretty cool that he has so many fans. “I just remember how I felt watching fighters in amazement. I remember looking up to Cain Velasquez, Michael Bisping, Anderson Silva and Frankie Egar and just constantly being in awe. I’m still going to be that little fan. I don’t think I deserve this because I’m still that guy. I look up to a lot of fighters because it all takes a certain type of dedication to get there. I hope I can keep on inspiring people. It’s a great feeling knowing that people are inspired by my story and people are looking at me for inspiration. That’s pretty cool. I would love it if I could be someone’s Cain Velasquez like he was to me, that would be amazing. If i can be that for somebody, I’ll take that role man”.
Yanez admits he’s travelled a long road to make it to the UFC. “It’s been a long process. I knew it was going to be a long road. I just kept going and trusting the process. In my second pro fight I got my jaw broken and lost the fight by decision. Then I went on a win streak and after that I lost a close split decision. In 2019 I became more motivated and started switching it up. I found my killer instinct again”.
For others hoping to follow in his footsteps and become a professional fighter Yanez recommends two things. “My advice is surround yourself with good people who have your best interests at heart. You are who you hang out with. You gotta hang around people who are like-minded like you; who are always trying to better themselves. Also, you have to put in the work. All the skills you think you have if you aren’t putting the work behind it there won’t be any substance. You have to work hard if you really want to pursue this career. It all comes down to hard work and having the right people around you. I have great people around me and I’m motivated and will keep working hard towards my goals”.
Yanez will have his debut fight in the UFC against Aaron Phillips (12-4) on October 31. He said it’s exciting for him to be fighting on Halloween. As a kid, Yanez said he recalls fond memories of dressing up as a ninja or a Mortal Kombat character. “It seems only fitting that I get to fight on Halloween because I’m about to make it a bloodbath. I’m super excited. Phillips might think it’s going to be a war, but man I think I’m just going to do a one sided beatdown that’s going to give me a performance bonus”.