Rivalries are often heated and filled with trash talk and bad blood. But the bantamweight bout that opens up the night’s main card offers a superb stylistic matchup with absolutely zero bad blood whatsoever.
Randy Costa and Adrian Yanez both love to stand and strike, and both have immense belief in their hands. They are also among the classiest operators you’ll see in the UFC.
So when they started campaigning to face each other, their easy-going personas and ability to not take themselves too seriously made their social media interactions, both with themselves and with the fans, a joy to watch.
But, while their respectful, but fun, approach to promoting their fight has been a breath of fresh air, the fight itself looks set to be every bit as entertaining.
— Adrian Yanez (@yanezmma) July 23, 2021
Yanez is unbeaten in the UFC, and is riding a six-fight win streak that spans three promotions and Dana White’s Contender Series.
His 39-second knockout of Brady Huang at the UFC Apex in August last year earned him a contract to fight on the big stage, and he has made a flying start to his UFC career.
He announced his arrival as a UFC bantamweight with a first-round head-kick KO of Victor Rodriguez last October, then followed up with a third-round knockout of Gustavo Lopez in March.
Now he’s set to take on tough opposition, with Costa also riding a two-fight win streak in the UFC.
“The Zohan” was submitted by Brandon Davis on his UFC debut in April 2019, but bounced back in style with a crowd-pleasing first-round TKO of Boston Salmon the following October.
He returned to the cage last September and scored a 41-second finish of Journey Newson via head kick and follow-up punches, and now faces a matchup with slick striking stylist Yanez tonight.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) July 23, 2021
Both men have been marked out as two of the most exciting strikers outside the bantamweight division’s top 15, and a stoppage victory for either man could seal them a bout with a ranked fighter later this year.
Their past resumes suggest we could see a striking matchup, with a finish more than likely. But which man will end up claiming the win bonus and enhancing their bantamweight prospects? Their bout could prove to be one of the most entertaining matchups on the card.