After a blockbuster UFC 268 event in New York City, the promotion will return to Las Vegas for another Fight Night card on Saturday. Continuing the momentum from Madison Square Garden into the Apex, a mouth-watering clash between 145-pound contenders Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez will headline.
Holloway will be looking to secure a trilogy fight with Volkanovski with an impressive performance against the Mexican. The Hawaiian lost his belt to “The Great” in 2019. Seven months later, “Blessed” fell short against the Aussie for the second consecutive fight. At UFC 251 on Fight Island, Holloway found himself on the wrong side of a tight split decision. Having rebounded in style with a record-breaking striking performance against Calvin Kattar, many believe the former champion is the one man who can dethrone Volkanovski.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, will be looking to take over that status when he enters the Octagon with his fellow 29-year-old. “El Pantera” hasn’t been in action in over two years. In his last appearance, he defeated Jeremy Stephens via unanimous decision at UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Weidman. In his prior fight, he recorded a memorable knockout victory over “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. He’ll be hoping to shock the MMA world in a similar way on November 13.
Volkanovski Backs Former Foe Holloway
Given his lengthy period of inactivity, coupled with Holloway’s incredible last performance, Rodriguez is understandably the favorite. While a fighter like the Mexican can never be counted out, most are predicting another W on the record of “Blessed,” including 145-pound king Volkanovski.
Speaking to MMA journalist James Lynch, “The Great” gave his prediction for this weekend’s main event. The Aussie believes the pressure the #1-ranked contender will bring to the contest will be too much for Rodriguez.
“Max Holloway. I think Max Holloway will be too much; too much pressure. Yair likes to fight on the outside and again, he’s the type of guy, you give him room to move, you stand in front of him and let him work at a range he’s comfortable at, mate, he looks like an absolute weapon. But you take that away from him, then obviously he has to try and think on the fly a little bit and that’s not really (his strength). So, the pressure that Max will bring will definitely make it hard for Yair.”
Despite intending to remain active, it’s looking more and more likely that Volkanovski will be facing the winner of Holloway vs. Rodriguez sometime in 2022 for his next defense. The champ had left the door open to a clash with former two-division UFC titleholder Henry Cejudo. However, it doesn’t appear the promotion were keen on allowing “Triple C” to return straight into a championship opportunity in a new division. With that in mind, the stakes for the UFC Vegas 42 headliner are as high as they could be.
Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC Vegas 42, Max Holloway or Yair Rodriguez?