Las Vegas – UFC returns to UFC APEX with a featherweight contenders’ bout guaranteed to deliver fireworks, as No. 1 ranked contender Max Holloway battles No. 3 Yair Rodriguez. Hard-hitting heavyweights collide in the co-main event when Ben Rothwell faces Marcos Rogerio de Lima.
UFC Fight Night 197: Holloway vs. Rodríguez will take place Saturday, November 13 from UFC APEX in Las Vegas. All bouts will stream on ESPN+, with the prelims beginning at a special start time of 10 a.m. PT/ 1 p.m. ET and the main card at 1 p.m. PT/ 4 p.m. ET.
Holloway (22-6) fighting out of Waianae, Hawaii aims to build off his sensational victory over Calvin Kattar in January, which saw the former champion set a new record for significant strikes in a single UFC bout at 445. Throughout his career, he also holds memorable wins against Jose Aldo (twice), Brian Ortega, and Frankie Edgar. Holloway now has his sights set on staking his claim for a title opportunity with another highlight-reel finish.
Rodriguez (13-2 1NC) fighting out of Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico returns to action for the first time since his Fight of the Night win over Jeremy Stephens in late 2019. During his UFC run, The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America winner has secured spectacular KO victories over Chan Sung Jung, BJ Penn, and Andre Fili. Rodriguez now looks to earn the biggest win of his career and establish himself as the top contender for a featherweight title shot.
Rothwell (39-13) fighting out of Kenosha, Wisc. hopes to continue his momentum following a submission win over Chris Barnett in May. A 20-year MMA veteran, he also holds notable finishes against Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, and Matt Mitrione. Rothwell is now gunning for his 40th professional win by stopping De Lima in an impressive fashion.
De Lima (18-8-1) fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil intends to make the most of his second co-main event opportunity by becoming the first fighter to finish Rothwell in over eight years. During his time on the UFC roster, he has delivered notable wins against Maurice Greene, Ben Sosoli, and Igor Pokrajac. De Lima now looks to stop Rothwell and earn a shot at the heavyweight top 15.
Former women’s featherweight title challenger Felicia Spencer (8-3) fighting out of Orlando, Fla. by way of Montreal, Quebec, Canada takes on Leah Letson (5-2) fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc. Philipe Lins (14-5) Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil moves down to light heavyweight to face former interim title challenger Ovince Saint Preux (25-16) fighting out of Knoxville, Tenn.
No. 15 ranked bantamweight contender Song Yadong (17-5-1 1NC) fighting out of Heilongjiang, China, and Julio Arce (17-4) fighting out of Bayside, N.Y. look to steal the show. No. 15 ranked lightweight contender Thiago Moises (15-5) fighting out of Indaiatuba, Brazil squares off with rising star Joel Alvarez (18-2) fighting out of Asturias, Spain.
Top 15 women’s flyweight contenders battle when No. 5 ranked Cynthia Calvillo (9-3-1) fighting out of Sacramento, Calif. squares off with No. 12 Andrea Lee (12-5) fighting out of Shreveport, La. Miguel Baeza (10-1, fighting out of Davie, Fla. locks horns with Khaos Williams (12-2) fighting out of Detroit, Mich. in an action-packed welterweight contest.
Exciting featherweight prospects collide when Sean Woodson (8-1) fighting out of St. Louis, Mo. faces Collin Anglin (8-2, fighting out of Englewood, Colo. by way of South Lyon, Mich. Cortney Casey (9-9) fighting out of Glendale, Ariz. takes on Liana Jojua (8-4) fighting out of Tbilisi, Georgia in a women’s flyweight matchup.
Marc Diakiese (14-4) fighting out of Doncaster, England meets Rafael Alves (19-10, fighting out of Miami, Fla. by way of Para, Brazil at lightweight. Kennedy Nzechukwu (9-1) fighting out of Dallas, Texas faces Da-un Jung (14-2-1) fighting out of Seoul, South Korea in a light heavyweight bout.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.