Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez is a fight that pits two of the featherweight division’s elite head to head! Holloway has just recently bounced back from a two-fight skid against reigning featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski with a record-breaking decision win over Calvin Kattar. While Rodriguez has been on the sideline following a 6-month ban from competition via USADA for not following the proper check-in protocols required.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to break the news, with word coming from UFC President Dana White himself. While contracts have not been signed according to Okamoto and White, it appears the UFC is “close to finalizing the deal”, and once official “It is expected to headline a UFC Fight Night event on July 17th, at a location to be announced.”
Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez: A Striker’s Delight Between Featherweight Elite
Max Holloway (22-6, 18-6 UFC) might have lost his UFC featherweight title and been on the wrong side of a questionable decision against Volkanovski in the rematch, but Holloway showed the “Blessed Express” is going to keep on chugging with that now-legendary performance over Kattar at UFC on ABC 1.
After this fight, any doubts about Holloway still being among the featherweight elite were surely silenced after “Blessed” broke a UFC record against Kattar by landing 445 significant strikes, and put on a performance reminiscent of Muhammad Ali with his boxing and slips.
Among other records broken that night, another was for total strikes landed in UFC history with 2,805. Surpassing the man many call MMA’s GOAT Georges St. Pierre who previously held the record with 2,591 strikes.
Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez is a giant fight for the landscape of the featherweight division. At this point, after two losses to the champion, Holloway must obviously defeat every contender in his path if he hopes to prove he is truly deserving of another title fight. While if Rodriguez wins, he could make a solid argument as to why he deserves the title shot against the winner of Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega.
Yair Rodriguez (13-2, 8-1 UFC) is coming off that previously mentioned 6 month USADA suspension, but before that, a fight against forgotten contender Zabit Magomedsharipov was off and on again. This would’ve been another striker’s delight with legendary potential, but Rodriguez was forced to withdraw from the fight due to an ankle injury. After that, “El Pantera” was banned, and now we have Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez to thank the MMA gods for.
Satire aside, this should be an epic battle that has burn-burner potential. Fight of the Night, Fight of the Year type potential, and it could also be over in an instant, so don’t blink!
Rodriguez is a rare type, he’s homegrown UFC talent. “El Pantera” was 5-1 upon making his UFC debut via a stint on The Ultimate Fighter Latin America Season 1, and he would seemingly experience no growing pains inside the UFC octagon besides a doctor stoppage loss to Frankie Edgar. In fact, besides that loss and a No Contest to Jeremy Stephens, “El Pantera” is undefeated within the UFC.
With notable wins over the likes of Chang Sung Jung, Jeremy Stephens, BJ Penn, and Dan Hooker, Rodriguez is no stranger when it comes to facing the elite. Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez could go either way, and it’s truly a gift to the fans and a striker’s delight.
July 17th UFC Fight Night Overview
With the addition of Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez, the July 17th card now seems to have an official main event. Keep in mind, the order of bouts may change, as fights are added or drop off the card. The current lineup goes as follows:
- Featherweight Bout: Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez
- Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Marion Reneau vs Miesha Tate
- Flyweight Bout: Amir Albazi vs Ode Osbourne
- Bantamweight Bout: Sergey Morozov vs Khalid Taha
- Lightweight Bout: Guram Kutateladze vs Don Madge
- Bantamweight Bout: Cameron Else vs Aaron Phillips
- Featherweight Bout: Herbert Burns vs Billy Quarantillo
- Flyweight Bout: Francisco Figueredo vs Malcolm Gordon
- Bantamweight Bout: Anderson dos Santos vs Miles Johns
- Heavyweight Bout: Alan Baudot vs Rodrigo Nascimento
- Middleweight Bout: Phil Hawes vs Deron Winn
- Lightweight Bout: Islam Makhachev vs Thiago Moises
- Lightweight Bout: Mateusz Gamrot vs Jeremy Stephens
- Strawweight Bout: Amanda Lemos vs Montserrat Ruiz
- Welterweight Bout: Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs Daniel Rodriguez
What’s your favorite fight off this card besides the newly added Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez fight? Leave it down below in the comments!
Follow me on Twitter @MmaMakoa_, Instagram mmamakoa_, and Facebook @MakoaGobleMMA for more combat sports news and discussions. Also, make sure to follow @OT_Heroics for all of your sporting needs. Don’t forget OTHeroicsMMA for all things MMA.