Blessed is back against El Pantera.
According to UFC president Dana White, the UFC are currently working on a five-round main event for July 17th between top featherweight contenders Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez. Location and venue is unknown at this current time. Brett Okamoto of ESPN was first to report the news.
Both ranked inside the top 5 of the featherweight division, the winner of this bout could potentially go on to fight for the UFC featherweight title next.
Holloway (22-6) was last seen in action against Calvin Kattar back in January, where he put on one of the best performances of his entire professional MMA career to earn a very lopsided unanimous decision win. Holloway dominated from start to finish, with a heavy-volume attack as he landed a record 445 significant strikes on Kattar.
Seen as one of the greatest featherweight champions of all time, Holloway became champion in 2017 when he defeated the legendary Jose Aldo and when to defend it against the likes of Aldo again, Brian Ortega and Frankie Edgar.
Holloway lost his belt against the current UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 245 in 2019 and will be eager to get a chance to fight for a third trilogy bout to regain the featherweight belt.
Rodriguez (13-2) has not fought since defeating Jeremy Stephens by unanimous decision back in October 2019. Currently ranked at #3, Rodriguez is currently on a two fight winning streak against the likes of The Korean Zombie and Stephens, El Pantera could earn a title shot with a win against a big name like Holloway however his inactivity could come into question into whether he deserves the shot.
This will be Rodriguez’s highest-profile fight to date against a former champion in Holloway. In his most recent fight against a former champion in facing Frankie Edgar, the Mexican fell short when Edgar dominated the younger man back in 2017 at UFC 211, his only loss in the UFC.
Since joining the UFC back in 2014, Rodriguez has surged up the rankings with wins over the likes of Dan Hooker; Andre Fili; BJ Penn; and most recently, Jeremy Stephens.
Who do you see winning this exciting featherweight matchup? Does the winner get a title shot?