UFC Long Island: Main Event Fizzles Due to Ortega Injury, Yair Rodriguez Claims TKO Win

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Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez, UFC Long Island
ELMONT, NEW YORK - JULY 15: (L-R) Opponents Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez of Mexico face off during the UFC Fight Night ceremonial weigh-in at UBS Arena on July 15, 2022 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Plenty of talk surrounding the UFC Long Island main event between Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez surrounded title fights. Specifically, the seeming inevitability that Rodriguez would earn a shot at featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski with a win.

Rodriguez would come away with the win — but no doubt not in the fashion that he, or anyone else, envisioned.

Saturday’s UFC Long Island headliner opened to a quick pace, with Ortega bloodying Rodriguez, and Rodriguez firing a kick up the middle and looking to create space. When Ortega got the fight to the fence, he clearly had Rodriguez where he wanted him, and hunting for the takedown came next.

They’d wind up back at center, however, where a couple of crisp exchanges led to another Ortega takedown attempt. He stayed on it, landing the takedown and rolling through it, only for Rodriguez to lock up an arm bar. Ortega tried to pull out of it, only to pop out his shoulder as a result.

The action halted abruptly as a hush blanketed the UBS Area. With expectations incredibly high, it was an obvious downer of an ending. Following the win, Rodriguez said he’d told Ortega that they can run it back — whether the UFC wants to do that, or move on, remains to be seen, and may depend on whether Ortega has any significant damage to the shoulder.

Official Result: Yair Rodriguez def. Brian Ortega by TKO (injury), Round 1, 4:11

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