Featherweight action takes centre stage in the octagon on Saturday evening, as Max Holloway takes on Yair Rodriguez. The bout is set to take place at the UFC Apex, and it could be another landmark moment in the career of Rodriguez, as he looks for a 14th professional win after two years away.
Tale of the Tape
|Max Holloway||Yair Rodriguez|
|5 ft 9 in||Height||5 ft 9 in|
|69 in||Reach||71 in|
Big Fight Preview
Max Holloway fights always gain a huge viewership, as the star is one of the brightest in the UFC. However, there will be a need for Holloway to get into form this weekend, as he has lost three of his last five fights. Two of those defeats came with the Featherweight Championship on the line. He lost the title in the first fight against Alexander Volkanovski, before failing to regain it in the following fight in July 2020. Both defeats came by decision, with the second of those coming in a split decision.
There are still calls for a trilogy fight between the pair, but Holloway will first need to overcome this challenge. His only win in the last two years came back in January on Fight Island, as he defeated Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision. His only other win since the start of 2019 came against Frankie Edgar at UFC 240, as he successfully defended his featherweight gold on one occasion before losing it just a couple of months later.
In Yair Rodriguez, Holloway is coming up against an opponent who’s career is very much going in the right direction. Granted, this will be a big step up in opposition, as Holloway has achieved more than most in his UFC career. But, Rodriguez certainly will not be daunted by the challenge at hand this weekend.
This will be the 29-year-olds 17th professional bout, and he has lost on just one occasion. That defeat came against Edgar back in May 2017, but since then, his form has been rock solid. He has won two of his three. The first win of that run came against Chan Sung Jung by KO in November 2018. A no contest was ruled in the first match-up between Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens, before the two met against in October 2019. There was no denying on that occasion that Rodriguez was the standout winner.
However, the concern for Rodriguez would be that the second fight against Stephens came over two years ago. His fitness will likely be brought into question in this fight against Holloway, as it is highly likely from the records of both stars that there is a good chance that it will go the distance.
Holloway vs Rodriguez Prediction
It’s hard to ignore the length of time that Rodriguez has been away from the octagon, and that is highlighted by the fact that he is 4/1 with BetXchange to win the fight. Therefore, we will be sticking with the favourite for this fight, and a win for Max Holloway.