Former undisputed UFC featherweight champion, Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway has been forced out of a UFC Fight Night headlining tilt on July 17th. against the #3 ranked contender, Yair ‘El Pantera’ Rodriguez — due to an undisclosed injury. The bout between Holloway and Rodriguez is set to be rescheduled for another date and event.
Holloway last featured at UFC Fight Island 7 in January in Abu Dhabi, UAE — taking home a dominant, one-sided unanimous decision win over New England Cartel standout, Calvin Kattar — breaking his own record for significant strikes landed in a fight.
For Chihuahua native, Rodriguez, he was booked for his first Octagon appearance since October of 2019, where he took home a unanimous decision win over striking veteran, Jeremy Stephens in a UFC Fight Night Boston co-main event. Rodriguez is set to be removed from the July 17th. event altogether as a result of Holloway’s injury, in favour of a reworked fight down the line. News of Holloway’s injury was first reported by ESPNDeportes reporter, Carlos Contreras Legaspi.
A former undisputed 145lbs champion, Hawaii favourite, Holloway snapped a two-fight skid with his January victory over Kattar, having rematched current-champion, Alexander Volkanovski for the title on ‘Fight Island’ last July at UFC 251 — finding himself on the wrong side of a razor-thin split decision loss.
During his reign as featherweight kingpin, Holloway successfully lodged three defences, besting Jose Aldo via strikes in a short-notice re-run, before stopping incoming challenger, Brian Ortega with a fourth round doctor’s stoppage, as well as taking a unanimous decision win over former lightweight best, Frankie Edgar.
Unbeaten in his last three Octagon appearances, Mexico-born striking sensation, Rodriguez had taken a buzzer-beating, Knockout of the Year contender against one-time title chaser, Chan Sung Jung back at UFC Fight Night Denver back in November of 2018.
Headlining a UFC Fight Night Mexico City card the following September, Rodriguez landed an inadvertent eye poke on the aforenoted, Stephens just 15-seconds into the opening round, resulting in an official ‘No Contest’.
As of publication, a new headliner for the UFC Fight Night event set for July 17th. as yet to be disclosed, as well as a date or location for a reworked pairing of Holloway and Rodriguez.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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