UFC strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez is set to make her return to the Octagon against the streaking Amanda Lemos at UFC 280 on Oct. 22.
MMA journalist Raphael Marinho was the first to report the Rodriguez/Lemos booking.
Rodriguez was expected to get a strawweight title shot against the Carla Esparza/Rose Namajunas winner, but the UFC appears set to make Zhang Weili Esparza’s first title defense. She most recently defeated Yan Xiaonan via a split decision at UFC 272.
After a close loss to Esparza in July 2020, Rodriguez has won four straight, including over the likes of Mackenzie Dern and Michelle Waterson-Gomez. She earned a shot in the UFC in 2018 following a first-round knockout on Dana White‘s Contender Series.
Lemos will make a quick turnaround to face Rodriguez after earning a second-round submission over Waterson-Gomez last weekend at UFC Long Island. She rebounded in a big way after losing to former champion Jéssica Andrade back in April.
Leading up to the loss to Andrade in her first career UFC main event, Lemos had won five straight over veterans such as Angela Hill and Livinha Souza.
Marina Rodriguez, Amanda Lemos Vy For Potential Strawweight Title Shot
The winner between Rodriguez and Lemos could potentially earn a 115lb title shot against the Esparza/Weili winner.
The Rodriguez/Lemos booking adds to a stacked card at UFC 280. It’ll be headlined by a vacant lightweight title bout between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev and co-headlined by a bantamweight title matchup between Aljamain Sterling and former champion TJ Dillashaw.
Other non-title bouts on the card include a matchup between former bantamweight champion Petr Yan and rising contender Sean O’Malley, along with a welterweight battle between Sean Brady and Belal Muhammad.
What is your early prediction for Marina Rodriguez vs. Amanda Lemos?