Two of the most exciting featherweight fighters in the world will meet this summer.
Multiple-time former title challenger Brian Ortega takes on Yair Rodriguez in the main event of UFC Fight Night on July 16 on Long Island in New York, the UFC announced Thursday. It will be the UFC’s first visit to the new USB Arena in Elmont.
Ortega vs. Rodriguez has major featherweight division implications. ESPN has Ortega ranked No. 4 and Rodriguez ranked No. 9 in the world at 145 pounds. Ortega (15-2, 1 NC) is coming off one of the best fights of 2021, a loss to Alexander Volkanovski in a featherweight title fight last September at UFC 266. The fighter from California has won eight of his 10 UFC matchups, with the only losses coming in title bouts.
Ortega, 31, has seven finishes in the UFC, plus five Fight of the Night bonuses on his resume. Rodriguez (13-3, 1 NC) had a three-fight unbeaten streak broken by former champ Max Holloway last November in a Fight of the Night battle. The fighter from Mexico sports an 8-2 (1 NC) UFC record.
Rodriguez, 29, won the first-ever The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America tournament in November 2014. He also has five Fight of the Night bonuses and achieved the latest KO/TKO win in UFC history (4:59 of the fifth round against Chan Sung Jung in November 2018).