Following the removal of former two-time UFC bantamweight champion, T.J. Dillashaw from the main event of UFC Vegas 26 on May 8th. against Cory Sandhagen due to a sizeable laceration above his right eye, the promotion are now attempting to book a strawweight headliner between top-ten contenders, Michelle Waterson, and Marina Rodriguez for the event.
Returning to winning ways in her last Octagon appearance, long-time Jackson-Wink MMA trainee, Waterson took home a short notice unanimous decision win over fellow former Invicta FC gold holder, Angela Hill in the main event of UFC Vegas 10 in August last.
At UFC 257 in January on ‘Fight Island’, Brazilian striker, Rodriguez notched her return to the win column as well with a second-round knockout win compatriot, Amanda Ribas. News of the targeted reworked main event between Waterson and Rodriguez was first reported by ESPN MMA reporter, Ariel Helwani.
Waterson, a former Invicta FC atomweight champion, has featured ten times under the UFC’s banner since her transition from the Shannon Knapp-led organization back in 2015.
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Initially debuting with success, Waterson managed a pair of consecutive wins over both Angela Magana and a submission win over recent BKFC debutante, Paige VanZant.
Suffering back-to-back losses, the Colorado-born contender dropped a rear-naked choke submission to current strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas, as well as a decision defeat to Tecia Torres. Embarking on a three-fight winning-run, Waterson managed successes against Cortney Casey, Felice Herrig, and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, prior to decision blemishes against former champions, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Carla Esparza before last year’s win over Hill.
Rio Grande do Sul native, Rodriguez made her move to the UFC back in September of 2018, following an opening round knockout win over Maria de Oliveira Neta that April on Dana White’s Contender Series.
Finding herself involved in a pair of majority draws during her still brief run with the UFC, Rodriguez battled to the judge’s scorecards against both Randa Markos and Cynthia Calvillo. In her sole professional loss, the 33-year-old dropped a close decision to common-foe, Esparza. In promotional victories, Rodriguez has bested another common-opponent, Torres, as well as Jessica Aguilar and the above-mentioned, Ribas.
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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