The UFC action continues this Saturday at the UFC Apex, as UFC Vegas 26 takes place. The card was set to be headlined by the long-awaited return of T.J. Dillashaw taking on Cory Sandhagen.
However, Dillashaw was forced to withdraw after picking up a head cut during training. Instead, this weekend’s card will be headlined by the women’s flyweight bout between Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson.
Rodriguez vs Waterson Tale Of The Tape
|Marina Rodriguez||Michelle Waterson|
|5 ft 7 in||Height||5 ft 3 in|
|67 in||Reach||62 in|
|· 1 x UFC Performance of the Night||Notable Achievements||· 1 x Invicta FC Atomweight Champion
· 1 x UFC Performance of the Night
· 1 x UFC Fight of the Night
Rodriguez vs Waterson Preview
The short notice of the fight means that both women will be taking this fight at flyweight rather than the traditionally strawweight that they both usually compete at. Rodriguez comes into the fight as the narrow favourite in the betting with BetXChange, as she is valued at 0.47. Meanwhile, the same sportsbook has Waterson at 1.62.
Rodriguez will be stepping into the octagon for the eighth time in her career this weekend. So far, she has won four of the fights that she has had in UFC. Two of her fights have ended in draws, with these coming against Randa Markos and Cynthia Calvillo. Her only defeat in UFC so far came against Carla Esparza in July 2020. That defeat is also the only loss on her professional MMA record.
She was able to bounce back from that defeat last time out, as she beat Amanda Ribas by TKO in the second round of their contest. That was the sixth win that she has recorded by TKO, and just the second time she has won by that method in UFC. Her only other TKO victory in UFC came at Dana White’s Contender Series Brazil 2, as she beat Maria de Oliveira Neta in the first round. Rodriguez has also won once by submission, but that victory came way back in July 2016, as she beat Vanessa Guimaraes with the triangle choke at Aspera FC 41.
This will be Waterson’s first fight since September 2020. The former Invicta Atomweight champion won on that last appearance in the octagon, as she beat Angela Hill by split decision. That bout was regarded as one of the fights of the year, and also saw her win a fight Fight of the Night Award. Waterson will be competing for the eleventh time in the octagon, but and she will be looking for a seventh win. Her most recent defeats have both been by decision, and came against Carla Esparza and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Rodriguez vs Waterson Prediction
Rodriguez is the clear favourite in the betting for this bout, as she looks to continue her excellent form in UFC. We would tend to agree that the favourite should win this fight, but it has the potential to be an exciting match up at the UFC Apex. The fight should go the distance, so Rodriguez will likely get her victory by decision.