Yair Rodriguez has what it takes to be the next featherweight champion and upset Alexander Volkanovski. Representing Mexico in the UFC, Rodriguez is 13-3 and possesses an explosive style that rivals any top fighter in the UFC.
On July 16 in Elmont, New York, Rodriguez will compete against Brian Ortega. With a victory, he’d have a shot at the title against Volkanovski, who recently demolished Max Holloway earlier this month. Yair must handle Ortega before he can set his eyes on the current featherweight champion.
Ortega is quoted saying, “this is the most stacked that the featherweight division has been in its entire life.” That seems to be the case as the top five fighters in the Featherweight Division are absolute monsters. Calvin Kattar, Max Holloway, Brian Ortega, Yair Rodriguez, and Chan Sung Jung ensure the Featherweight Division is in good hands.
Both fighters have everything to gain, and on July 16, Ortega versus Rodriguez will see two athletes from the same homeland competing in a fight that can determine their legacy. For Yair, it is an opportunity to have a title shot and eventually become the face of the Featherweight Division. He is also one of the only fighters in the top ranks not to fight Volkanovski.
For Brian Ortega, this is an opportunity to redeem himself and set up a rematch against Alexander, the Featherweight champion, as he took a brutal loss to him ten months prior.
Yair Rodriguez: Potential Featherweight Champion
Yair is currently 13-3 in the UFC. One of his losses was to Holloway, who was recently defeated by the Featherweight champ earlier this month. In theory, this will put Yair at a disadvantage as he lost to the fighter that also lost to the Featherweight champion.
There’s something unique about Yair that makes him unpredictable. So despite losing to Holloway, I would still like to see a fight between Yair and Alexander, as I think he deserves a title shot. I also believe Ortega should have another chance to fight Alexander, as the first time they fought, Brian had Alexander placed in multiple submission holds. Still, Alexander was able to escape them all.
Future of the Featherweight
The stakes are high for both fighters as they have a lot on the line, and only time will tell what will come of the two.
My prediction for the upcoming fight is Jair will defeat Ortega and earn an opportunity to fight Volkanovski. Yair will only have this opportunity if he can stay away from Ortega‘s grapple game, as this is where he is the strongest. Ortega is a jujitsu master, and if he can get Jair to the floor and grapple, this may be a quick fight.
That said, I believe Yair’s explosive fighting styles and heavy strikes will be too much for Ortega. We will see you on July 16 in New York City.
Read our in-depth betting preview for Rodriguez vs. Ortega and the other fights at UFC Long Island.
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