UFC Vegas 26 goes down this weekend at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. In the main event, Marina Rodriguez takes on Michelle Waterson in a flyweight bout.
The event was originally scheduled to be headlined by Cory Sandhagen and TJ Dillashaw but their fight was scrapped after the former bantamweight champion suffered a cut to his eyebrow. Rodriguez and Waterson both sit inside the strawweight top ten, but have been given a 10lbs relief by the UFC as a result of accepting the fight on short notice.
Analysis And Prediction
Rodriguez versus Waterson is a great matchup. ‘The Karate Hottie’ has competed against the very best in the strawweight division, and although she has had her share of defeats, she’s still a tough opponent for Rodriguez, who has slowly climbed her way up the rankings, and shocked the world in her most recent TKO win against Amanda Ribas at UFC 257.
Both fighters are great strikers, but Rodriguez has the edge as far as the statistics are concerned. She lands an average of 4.6 significant strikes per minute, compared to Waterson, who lands 3.58 significant strikes per minute on average. The Brazilian is also better defensively, as she absorbs 3.16 significant strikes per minute. Whereas the JacksonWink representative absorbs 4 significant strikes per minute.
Waterson is a point fighter, with a Karate background. She isn’t the most powerful striker, but she’s extremely smart. Rodriguez is an explosive and powerful striker, which has proven to be the downfall of several of her opponents. The Rio Grande do Sul native will also have a size advantage, with a three-inch height and reach advantage.
In the grappling department, Waterson has the edge as she has nine submission wins to her name. While Rodriguez has struggled against grapplers in the past, so she would be advised to keep the fight on the feet.
Rodriguez also tends to slow down as the fight progresses, so that may also work in Waterson’s favour.
The fight could go either way, but Rodriguez has the momentum on her side and should get her hand raised on the night.
Prediction: Marina Rodriguez via decision
Marina Rodriguez (-190)
Michelle Waterson (+165)
Who do you think wins the flyweight bout between Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson at UFC Vegas 26?