Marina Rodriguez Defeats Michelle Waterson By Unanimous Decision

And the wins keep on coming for Marina Rodriguez.

The 34-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist defeated Michelle Waterson, using her Muay Thai striking effectively en route to a unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46) win in the UFC Fight Night main event on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Marina Rodriguez

It was one of the best career performances for Rodriguez, who didn’t arrive in Las Vegas until Thursday, two days later than every other fighter on the card.

Rodriguez had struggles getting a visa into the United States because of COVID-19 and spent 20 hours in travel over Wednesday and Thursday morning.

But in the end, none of that ended up mattering.

“There were so many challenges, but the big thing was just armoring my mind,” Rodriguez said after the fight through a translator. “The whole team put our shields up. We knew it would be different and we couldn’t be shaken by it.”

The initially scheduled main event Saturday was former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw taking on top contender Cory Sandhagen. But Dillashaw withdrew last week because of injury. That bout will be rebooked.

Rodriguez and Waterson didn’t agree to this bout — up a division at flyweight because of the timing — until April 27, and the UFC didn’t make it official until this past Tuesday.

The first three rounds featured Rodriguez chewing Waterson up with big right hands, knees out of a Thai clinch and elbows with Waterson against the cage. As hard as Rodriguez tried, though, she could not get the durable Waterson out of there. And Waterson mounted a huge comeback in the fourth round.

Waterson took Rodriguez down in the fourth and landed big elbows from half guard. In the fifth round, Waterson landed a head kick that wobbled Rodriguez and caused bad swelling on the left of her jaw. Waterson followed that up with a side kick to the body that clearly hurt Rodriguez. In that final, eventful round, Rodriguez was able to score a head kick late that did damage to Waterson.

Coming in, ESPN had Rodriguez ranked No. 6 in the world at strawweight and Waterson ranked No. 9. Rodriguez said the key factor about overcoming her prefight travel chaos “was we were able to come in, show the work we did and get the victory even with everything going against us.”

Rodriguez added that she aims to target a top-three opponent — maybe Joanna Jedrzejczyk — for her next fight and said she feels like she is close to a title shot.

The bout took place with COVID-19 protocols in effect at the UFC Apex, the facility across the street from the promotion’s corporate campus.

Rodriguez (14-1-2) has just one loss in seven UFC outings and now has two straight wins.

The Muay Thai specialist was coming off a second-round TKO win over prospect Amanda Ribas in January. Rodriguez, 34, has lost only to former champion Carla Esparza in the UFC, but she has a pair of draws against Cynthia Calvillo and Randa Markos.

Waterson (18-9) is the former Invicta FC atomweight champion and one of the most popular women’s fighters on the UFC roster. Fighting out of New Mexico, Waterson was coming off a split decision win over Angela Hill last September, which snapped a two-fight losing skid. Waterson has won four of six fights overall.

“[Waterson is] so experienced,” Rodriguez said. “That’s the thing I knew going into it. When she was Invicta champion, that was [around the same time as] my first Muay Thai class. I looked up to her, too. I knew she was very tough. To go five rounds with her and win, it’s an amazing feat for my career.”

Canelo Alvarez Defeats Billy Joe Saunders to Claim WBO Super-Middleweight Belt

Canelo Alvarez has expanded his belt collection….

The 30-year-old Mexican boxer added the WBO super-middleweight belt to his growing collection, defeating Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday night in front of a record-breaking 73,126 crowd inside Texas’ AT&T Stadium.

Canelo Alvarez

The attendance figure set an all-time record for an indoor US boxing event — breaking the previous record set in 1978 when Muhammad Ali beat Leon Spinks in front of 63,352 at the Louisiana Superdome — and marked the largest crowd at a sporting event since the pandemic began.

Alvarez dominated the opening seven rounds, leading on all three judges’ scorecards, before a brutal uppercut in the eighth caused a deep cut under Saunders’ right eye and left the Briton unable to come out for the ninth round.

Saunders was reportedly taken from the venue by ambulance straight after the fight to have the extent of his injuries assessed.

“As I said beforehand, the fight was going to develop by the seventh or eighth round,” Alvarez told broadcaster DAZN. “That’s what happened, but it wasn’t as difficult as I expected. That’s where I take note that my preparation is good and I improve day by day.

“The fight I was winning round by round. I told you, my fight would develop after six or seven rounds, but I started getting adjusted quickly. I knew that this round (the eighth) was going to be the final round. I knew it. I think I broke his cheek and I knew he wasn’t going to come out. That was it.”

Alvarez, widely considered one of the best boxers in the world, said “the plan” now was to unify the super-middleweight division by claiming the IBF belt held by American Caleb Plant.

“I’m coming. I’m coming, my friend,” he said.

The hugely popular fighter delighted what appeared to be a largely Mexican crowd, raising his arms at one point during the fight to encourage the already raucous arena to make more noise.

“It’s difficult to explain,” Alvarez said of their support. “I don’t have the words. All the emotions I feel, they give me the motivation to continue on.”

HBO Max Developing Original Spanish Series Based on Santiago Garcia & Luis Bustos’ Graphic Novel “Garcia”

Santiago Garcia & Luis Bustos’ graphic novel will be getting the television treatment.

HBO Max has given the green light to the Spanish-language original series García based on the graphic novel of the same name by the Spanish authors.

Garcia

Sara Antuña and Carlos de Pando are co-creators and writers for the series and Eugenio Mira will direct all six episodes.

“When I read the first episode of “García!” I really enjoyed identifying with elements I’ve always loved, but what won me over was the way the script combined those references with something totally new. Being able to experiment with such great original material, a rich universe and ever-evolving characters, not to mention keeping track of the constant cliff-hangers and revelations, is a great technical and artistic challenge for me, and a huge privilege,” explained director Mira.

The story is set in present-day Spain, which is on the brink of political chaos and follows young investigative reporter Antonia (Veki Velilla) who stumbles on a decades-old conspiracy: the existence of a cryogenically-frozen super-agent García (Francisco Ortiz), created in a laboratory in the 1950s by General Franco’s fascist secret services.

The cast includes Emilio Gutiérrez Caba, Francisco Reyes, Nico Romero, Helio Pedregal, Mario Pardo, Miki Molina, Marina Gatell, Pepe Ocio and Silvia Abascal.

 

The novel, published by Astiberri Ediciones, plays on cultural and social uncertainty in a country still struggling with the ghosts of its dictatorial past, where old sentiments are reemerging, and political divides are deepening.

The series is produced by Zeta Studios for WarnerMedia in Spain and will bow on HBO Max in 2022.

J Balvin Celebrates His Birthday with Release of New Single “7 de Mayo”

J Balvin celebrates his cumple with new music…

In honor of his 36th birthday (May 7), the Colombian singer/songwriter has released an ultra-personal track titled “7 de Mayo.”

J Balvin's Air Balvins

Penned by Balvin and Keityn, the hip-hop song is an autobiographical piece intertwined with recordings from real-life commentaries, including Daddy Yankee.

Balvin opens up about his upbringing, the struggles in his career, and the legacy he wants to leave behind.

He recalls the times people didn’t believe in him because he was a Colombian doing reggaetón music and how difficult it was for him to export his talent in times where there was no social media or press.

He sheds light on his mental health issues and how his mother and her prayers have kept him grounded. “If I die, don’t remember the hitmaker, remember the parcero who left a legacy,” he chants in the track.

A music video directed by José Emilio Sagaró shows a performance by Balvin laced with rare footage of his beginnings in music and some of his most successful career moments.

“May 7 is the day a warrior and a dreamer was born,” he states.

Luis Fonsi Earns Ninth No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Airplay Chart with Rauw Alejandro-Collab “Vacío”

Luis Fonsi is on Cloud Nine

The 43-year-old Puerto Rican singer’s single “Vacío” featuring Rauw Alejandro takes over the top spot on BillboardLatin Pop Airplay chart as the song rises from No. 3 on the May 8-dated survey.

Luis Fonsi & Rauw Alejandro

The song jumps 3-1 boosted by a 21% lift in audience impressions, to 6.7 million, earned in the week ending May 2, according to MRC Data.

Luis Fonsi earns his ninth No. 1 on the chart after “Perfecta” with Farruko reigned for two weeks starting in December 2020.

Rauw picks up his third, and second of the year, following “Baila Conmigo,” his two-week champ alongside Selena Gómez (March 13-dated list).

“Vacío” is the fourth male co-billed duet to top BillboardLatin Pop Airplay chart in 2021, one of which, as previously mentioned, also includes Luis Fonsi: “Perfecta,” with Farruko (Jan. 2).

In between, two other dual male pairings took the crown: Ozuna and Camilo’s “Despeinada” (four weeks starting Jan. 9-dated list) and Sebastian Yatra and Guaynaa’s “Chica Ideal” (three-week champ starting February 2).

“Vacío” is among a handful of songs of late to find reception among both Latin pop and Latin rhythmic audiences and radio. It continues its ascent on the Latin Rhythm Airplay chart (9-7) to become the fifth Latin pop song No. 1 of 2021 to make it to the top 10 of the Latin Rhythm Airplay chart, following four other titles which led Latin Pop Airplay before: Ozuna and Camilo’s “Despeinada,” Sebastian Yatra and Guaynaa’s “Chica Ideal,” Selena Gomez and Rauw Alejandro’s “Baila Conmigo” and Karol G, Anuel AA and J Balvin’s “Location.”

“Vacío” concurrently enters the top 10 on the all-genre Latin Airplay chart with a 14-9 hike. Luis Fonsi ups his career count to 19 top 10s, while Rauw clams his sixth. “Vacío” was written by Fonsi, Andres TorresMauricio RengifoOmar Alfanno and Rauw.

Mana Releases Revamped Version of “Eres Mi Religion” Featuring Jesse & Joy’s Joy Huerta

Mana is bringing a little Joy to one of its hit singles…

The legendary Mexican rock band has joined voices with Joy Huerta of Latin Grammy-winning Mexican duo Jesse & Joy for a revamped version of “Eres Mi Religion,” nearly 19 years after its original release.

Mana & Joy Huerta

“My loves, Maná invited me to be part of this song and it was impossible for me to resist,” Joy expressed on Instagram.

“Eres Mi Religion” is a timeless love anthem about finding your soul mate and being devoted to them.

Conserving the original’s essence, the 2021 version of “Eres Mi Religion” is still a romantic rock song. What’s different is its gospel-like intro and more instrumentation, likes the cajón. Notable is Joy’s powerhouse vocal throughout the track, beautifully harmonizing with Fher Olvera.

On the Billboard charts, the track peaked at No. 17 on Hot Latin Songs chart dated January 4, 2003, and at No. 10 on the Latin Pop Airplay chart dated January 4, 2003, earning the Mexican rock group its 10th top 10 at the time (the group has a total of 26).

It’s the latest re-do for Mana.

For two years now, the band has been sporadically releasing new versions of some of their biggest hits. In 2019, they released “Rayando el Sol” featuring Spanish crooner Pablo Alborán and “No Ha Parado de Llover” in collaboration with Sebastian Yatra.

MJ Rodriguez to Star Opposite Maya Rudolph in Apple TV+ Untitled Comedy Series

MJ Rodriguez is taking a bite of the Apple(TV+)

The 30-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress, currently appearing in the third and final season of FX’s Pose, will star alongside Maya Rudolph in Apple TV+’s untitled half-hour comedy series created by Emmy winners Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard.

MJ Rodriguez

Created and written by Yang and Hubbard, the series follows Molly (Rudolph), a woman whose seemingly perfect life is upended after her husband leaves her with nothing but $87 billion.

Rodriguez will play Sofia, the hard-working executive director of the non-profit funded by her absentee billionaire boss, Molly.

Yang and Hubbard executive produce alongside Rudolph through her production company, Animal Pictures, with the company’s Natasha Lyonne and Danielle Renfrew Behrens also executive producing.

Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, will serve as the studio.

Rodriguez stars as housemother Blanca in Ryan Murphy’s Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe and Peabody Award-winning series Pose.

Rodriguez made history in becoming the first trans woman to win Best Actress in Television for her role in Pose at the 2019 Imagen Awards. She was most recently nominated for a Critics Choice Television Award and an MTV Movie + TV Award, and she won two Gold Derby Awards for her performance as well.

On the film side, Rodriguez starred in indie film Saturday Church, which earned her a Tribeca Film Festival nomination for best actress.

Her other television credits include Nurse Jackie and Marvel’s Luke Cage

Marisol Nichols to Star Opposite Eugenio Derbez in the Lionsgate English-Remake of the French Hit “The Valet”

Marisol Nichols is about to valet

The 47-year-old half-Mexican American actress has joined the cast of the Lionsgate English-language remake of the French hit The Valet, joining stars Eugenio Derbez and Samara Weaving.

Marisol Nichols

Nichols, who most recently starred on The CW’s Riverdale, joins a roster of cast newcomers that includes Max GreenfieldBetsy Brandt, and legendary Mexican screen and television icon Carmen Salinas.

Richard Wong is directing the film, which is currently in production. The original version was written and directed by Francis Veber.

Weaving stars as Olivia, a movie star who enlists Antonio (Derbez) – a parking valet – to pose as her lover to cover for a relationship with a married man. As a valet, the hard-working Antonio usually flies under the radar, but his ruse with Olivia thrusts him into the spotlight and brings him to see himself more clearly than ever before.

Nichols, who appears in Lionsgate’s upcoming film Spiral, will play Isabel, Antonio’s ex who he still carries a torch for.

Salinas, a screen legend with more than 110 movies and 30 television series to her credit, will play Cecilia, Antonio’s live-in mother.

Rob Greenberg and Bob Fisher penned the screenplay, which is being produced by Derbez and his producing partner Ben Odell through their 3Pas Studios banner.

“Production has begun and we couldn’t be more excited about the way this cast came together or this story,” said Derbez. “This is a romantic comedy with heart and soul starring some of today’s most talented young actors sharing the screen with a living legend of Mexican cinema.”

Ozuna Releases New Heartbreak Single “Tiempo”

It’s an emotional time for Ozuna

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican urbano singer has released his new single “Tiempo,” which was written by Ozuna himself and produced by hitmaker Sky Rompiendo.

Ozuna

Set to a soft reggaeton beat, the lyrics find Ozuna reflecting on a failed relationship that was a waste of time.

“I dedicated time, time that I had already lost. Love like yours, I don’t understand. Now I’m alone and that’s an issue,” he confesses.

“Tiempo” was released alongside a trippy and visually striking music video directed by Fernando Lugo, which takes Ozu walking through fields of snow to an underwater adventure. 

Calibre 50 Scores 19th No. 1 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Airplay Chart with “Vamos Bien”

Calibre 50 is celebrating another chart-topper…

The Mexican norteño-banda group’s “Vamos Bien” rises on No. 1 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Airplay chart dated May 8.

Calibre 50

Calibre 50 captures its 19th leader on the 26-year tally and extends its record for the most No. 1s.

“Vamos Bien” ascends 2-1 with 7.1 million in audience impressions, up 17%, earned in the week ending May 2, according to MRC Data.

The title track of Vamos Bien (No. 12 high, Regional Mexican Albums, February 20-dated list), is the third song from the album to land atop the Regional Mexican Airplay chart. It trails “Barquillero” (four-week champ, July 2020) and “Te Volvería a Elegir” (six- week winner, Dec. 2020).

With the songs move, Calibre 50 extends its record for the most No. 1s, raising its career count of No. 1s, ahead of Conjunto Primavera and Intocable, both with 16 No. 1s.

Here are the groups with the most leaders on Regional Mexican Airplay:

No. 1s, Artist
19, Calibre 50
16, Conjunto Primavera
16, Intocable
15, Banda MS de Sergio Lizarraga
15, Los Tigres del Norte

In addition to its Regional Mexican Airplay coronation, “Vamos Bien” speeds up the all-genre Latin Airplay pushing 12-5. As Calibre 50 adds a 22nd top 10 to its career, it continues to hold the record for the most top 10s by a regional Mexican group.