After Defeating Mark Hominick, Eddie Yagin Enjoying “A Little More Respect From Certain People”
Believes Bout With Dennis Siver Has “Fight of the Night” Potential
By Kelsey Mowatt
2012 could turn out to be a banner year in the lengthy career of Eddie Yagin, as following his split decision win over Mark Hominick in April, the featherweight has been rewarded with another big name in Dennis Siver. In other words, if Yagin can hand the former lightweight contender a loss on September 1st, “The Filipino Phenom” could be within striking distance of the title shot mix.
“Me and my manager talked about things and we both decided that I just want to fight the best in the world; I don’t want to be nobody’s stepping stone,” the 33 year-old Yagin told Full Contact Fighter. “I want to fight the elite fighters and nothing but the best.”
“I’m not getting any younger,” added Yagin (16-5), who has been fighting professionally since 2000. “I’ve been around the game for a while, so, I think the only thing that will benefit me is if I fight the best. Siver is definitely one of the best; number six I believe? So I’m excited.”
When Yagin was matched up to face Hominick, he was coming off a unanimous decision loss to Junior Assuncao in September, which had marked the first time the vet had been defeated since 2009. At the time, few people expected the 5’5 tall featherweight to be able to handle the precise striking game of the taller Hominick, and the oddsmakers made the former number one contender a massive favorite.
“I was the biggest underdog in UFC history,” said Yagin while recalling the memorable and bloody battle. “That was cool. I like being the underdog. If you go through my fight list I’ve been the underdog in most of my fights. I’m used to fighting as the underdog and I like it better. Less pressure.”
That said,Yagin has welcomed the recognition he’s received from the win, which showcased to the MMA world both his power and tenacity.
“What I noticed a lot was the respect I’ve gotten from people,” said Yagin, while discussing whether the victory led to more media requests and fan recognition. “That I liked. That’s what I’ve been wanting for a while; is just a little more respect from certain people you know? Walking into a gym and guys noticing me as a top fighter is good, not just ‘oh, he’s a fighter.”
Although fewer people are likely counting Yagin out these days, the featherweight will probably be the underdog once again at UFC 151.
It wasn’t long ago that Siver was working his way into title shot contention as a lightweight, thanks to four consecutive wins. After incurring a quick submission loss to Donald Cerrone last October, however, Siver decided to drop down to featherweight. In April, the noted striker impressed in his 145 pound debut, by handing Diego Nunes a loss.
“After I found out who I was fighting, I realized that he’s a good striker and I feel like it has the potential for another “Fight of the Night,” said Yagin, after relaying he doesn’t follow the sport intently and didn’t know who Siver was at first. “I think it’s going to be really good fight. I don’t think he’s going to try to take me down. He’s going to try to bang with me.”
Yagin reports that his camp has been going well for his upcoming bout, in contrast to his last one, which the vet says was hampered by an injury.
“I think my cardio is going to be way better for this fight,” Yagin noted. “About a month out from my last fight , I hurt my heel; I kicked my pad holder right on his elbow and it messed up my heel really bad. I was out for two and a half weeks; I was scared because it was so sore, I don’t know if it was fractured or not, and my whole heel was a blister…Where my career is at now, I don’t want to drop out of any fights.”
UFC 151 will be hosted by The Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.