Top five featherweights, Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez are confirmed to be headlining the UFC’s July 16th Long Island card. Ortega is coming off a loss to champion, Alexander Volkanovski, whereas Rodriguez is returning after a fight of the year contender against Max Holloway. A win for either man puts them right back in the title picture, with the loser having to reset and take a step back from the division’s elite.
— UFC (@ufc) May 26, 2022
Featherweights Finally Meet on Long Island Card
Finally, we will see Ortega take on Rodriguez in a pivotal clash in the featherweight division. The fight itself has been rumoured for a number of years, however, never came to fruition but we all hope that now it’s officially booked that it goes ahead.
Both men in the Long Island main event have only two UFC losses each, but don’t let that take away from their skills, their losses are to the division’s elite. Ortega has twice come up short in title fights, firstly to Holloway and then to Volkanovski. Rodriguez lost to Frankie Edgar and Holloway.
We know that the champion, Alexander Volkanovski and former champ, Max Holloway are set to clash for a third time in July, where previously Holloway has been unsuccessful twice. Long Island’s headlining fight will more than likely produce the next challenger, with others in the division booked. Further down the rankings, Calvin Kattar is facing Josh Emmett in June, however, Kattar has that loss to Holloway and Emmett is much further down the rankings at #8.
Last time out, ‘T-City’ came very close to squeezing (literally) the belt away from Volkanovski when he locked in a tight guillotine, however, ‘The Great’ was able to get himself out of it. He dominated the rest of the fight, almost finishing Ortega, however, the fight went to the judge’s decision.
Rodriguez and Holloway put on a phenomenal fight last time out in a back and forth bout which saw the two throw a combined 752 strikes, mix in takedowns and put on an entertaining fight for 25 minutes. Rodriguez showed more of a well-rounded game than we’ve seen from him before and he’ll need this against Ortega.
Elsewhere on the July 16th card, Askar Askarov faces Alex Perez, Michelle Waterson returns to face Amanda Lemos, who looks to bounce back from her headline loss last time out. Li Jingliang clashed with Muslin Salikhov and Jack Shore takes a step up in competition when he faces Ricky Simon.