The much-anticipated, long-awaited featherweight showdown between Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez finally arrived at UFC Vegas 42 on Saturday.
The road to this point had been a bumpy one for Mexico’s Rodriguez. A public falling out with the promotion, an extended layoff, fight after fight with first Zabit Magomedsharipov and then Holloway falling through. By the time Rodriguez stepped into the octagon on Saturday, it had been over two years since his last fight, a win over Jeremy “Lil Heathen” Stephens.
Holloway had managed to stay more active than that. But since his masterful performance against Calvin Kattar to kick off 2021, he’d been on the sidelines, injury forcing him out of the original summer date with Rodriguez.
The winner of Holloway vs. Rodriguez would be in a prime position for a crack at gold at 145lbs — even if that meant a third fight between Holloway and champ Alexander Volkanovski. With many disputing the outcome of the pair’s last fight, a third go-round wasn’t as hard a sell as it might have been otherwise.
Saturday’s UFC Vegas 42 card, which kicked off early at 1PM ET, 10AM local time in Las Vegas, also featured Ben Rothwell vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima in the co-main event, and a rarely seen women’s featherweight fight between Felicia Spencer and Leah Letson. Following the event, tune in for the post-fight press conference — a live stream is available above.