A high-stakes potential UFC featherweight title-eliminator between former division champion, Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway and the #3 ranked, Yair ‘El Pantera’ Rodriguez has been booked to headline a UFC Fight Night event on July 17th. As of writing a location or venue for the event had yet to be determined by the organization.
Rated as the #1 ranked contender at 145lbs, Hawaii fan favourite, Holloway headlined UFC Fight Island 8 in January from Abu Dhabi, UAE — lodging arguably one of the most impressive performances of his career in the form of a blistering unanimous decision success against the surging, Calvin Kattar.
Returning from a USADA suspension following multi whereabouts violations, Chihuahua striker, Rodriguez last featured at UFC Fight Night Boston back in October of 2019 where he earned Fight of the Night honours opposite veteran puncher, Jeremy Stephens in a rematch. ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto was first to report the news of the eye-catching main event, as per promotional president, Dana White.
Holloway, 29, looks to stamp his status as the #1 contender at featherweight as the division await the culmination of The Ultimate Fighter which returns this summer. Reigning division champion, Alexander Volkanovski features as a coach on the reality T.V. show against one-time title chaser, Brian Ortega ahead of a featherweight title showdown later this year.
Snapping a two-fight slide against New England Cartel mainstay, Kattar, Holloway added the Massachusetts native to prior victories over the likes of Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, Ricardo Lamas, Anthony Pettis, Jose Aldo (x2), Ortega, and former lightweight best, Frankie Edgar.
28-year-old Mexican striker, Rodriguez has featured ten times under the UFC’s banner, and will headline for the sixth time in his promotional run opposite Holloway.
In his sole Octagon loss, Rodriguez suffered a second round doctor’s stoppage to the above-mentioned, common-foe, Edgar — and has managed notable UFC wins against the likes of Charles Rosa, Dan Hooker, common-opposition, Andre Fili, Alex Caceres, Chan Sung Jung, and former lightweight and welterweight champion, B.J. Penn.