Yair Rodriguez Reportedly Fighting Max Holloway in UFC Fight Night This Summer

It looks like Yair Rodriguez will be heading back to the Octagon this summer…

The UFC is finalizing plans for a featherweight matchup between the 28-year-old Mexican professional mixed martial artist and Max Holloway for July, according to UFC president Dana White.

 

Yair Rodriguez

Contracts haven’t been signed, but the UFC is close to finalizing the 145-pound contest, according to ESPN. Once official, it is expected to headline a UFC Fight Night event on July 17 at a location to be announced, sources said.

Rodriguez (13-2) has not fought since he earned a decision victory againsJeremy Stephens in October 2019. He was scheduled to fight last August, but withdrew due to injury.

Rodriguez, of Chihuahua, Mexico, is 8-1 in the UFC overall. His only loss came in 2017 to former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.

Holloway (22-6), a former UFC featherweight champion, is coming off arguably one of the greatest performances in UFC history in January. He landed a UFC record 445 total strikes in a five-round decision win over Calvin Kattar at the beginning of the year on Fight Island.

Fighting out of Waianae, Hawaii, Holloway, 29, is already considered in line for a 145-pound title shot, but the division is currently on a bit of a hold, as current champion Alexander Volkanovski is expected to face Brian Ortega at some point in the second half of 2021. With no title fight available, Holloway elected to remain active.

Paulo Costa ThisClose to Closing Deal to Fight Jared Cannonier in August

Paulo Costa could be back in the Octagon this summer…

The UFC is close to finalizing a middleweight main event between the 30-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist and Jared Cannonier for a UFC Fight Night in August, according to UFC president Dana White.

Paulo Costa

Contracts haven’t been signed yet, but the 185-pound contest is expected to become official shortly.

The fight will headline UFC Fight Night on August 21 at a location to be determined, according to White.

Costa (13-1) has not fought since he came up short in a title bid against Israel Adesanya in September. The 30-year-old from Brazil was scheduled to face Robert Whittaker last month but was forced to withdraw because of medical issues.

Cannonier (13-5) is coming off a loss to Whittaker in a three-round non-title fight in October. The loss snapped a three-fight winning streak for Cannonier.

The bout figures to have a major impact on the middleweight division.

Adesanya, the current champion, is scheduled to defend his title against Marvin Vettori in June.

Jessica Andrade to Fight Defending UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko 

Jessica Andrade is taking on a champion…

The 29-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist and former strawweight champion is set to take on defending UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 261, according to Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White.

Jessica Andrade

The 125-pound title fight will take place at the April 24 pay-per-view event, for which the UFC hasn’t yet finalized a location. It will mark Shevchenko’s fifth attempted title defense.

Shevchenko (20-3) has dominated the weight class since she dropped to 125 pounds from 135 pounds in 2018. She won the vacant belt by defeating another former strawweight champion in Joanna Jedrzejczyk in late 2018, then has looked more or less unbeatable in defenses against Jessica EyeLiz CarmoucheKatlyn Chookagian and Jennifer Maia.

Andrade (21-8) is widely perceived as the greatest threat to Shevchenko’s reign.

She won the UFC’s 115-pound championship by knocking out Rose Namajunas in May 2019 before surrendering the belt to current champ Zhang Weili three months later. She moved up to the 125-pound division in October, and scored a first-round knockout over Chookagian.

ESPN ranks Shevchenko and Andrade the No. 2 and No. 6 female pound-for-pound fighters in the world, respectively.

Deiveson Figueiredo Easily Defends UFC Flyweight Title Against Alex Perez

Deiveson Figueiredo has easily retained his title…

The 32-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist finished Alex Perez via guillotine choke at 1 minute, 57 seconds of the first round on Saturday night to retain the UFC flyweight title in the main event of UFC 255 in Las Vegas.

Deiveson Figueiredo

The incredibly fast, explosive Figueiredo found Perez’s neck in a scramble, locked in the choke and squeezed until Perez tapped out. It was Figueiredo’s first title defense.

“I came to the flyweight division to knock out, to submit everybody,” Figueiredo said. “To bring back the excitement, show the world the power of the flyweight division. I always thought I was gonna save this weight class, because people don’t know my power.”

Figueiredo, nicknamed “God of War,” and his dynamic, all-action style has reinvigorated the 125-pound weight class.

“If you don’t like this guy, stop watching fights,” UFC president Dana White said. “You need to find a new hobby if you don’t like watching him.

“Obviously I’m glad we didn’t [get rid of flyweight]. The division needed a little bit of rebuilding. We rebuilt it, and this is the result.”

White said at the postfight news conference that Figueiredo won’t return to Brazil after this fight and will instead stay in Las Vegas to defend his title again in December.

The plan, White said, is to have Figueiredo fight top contender Brandon Moreno, who beat Brandon Royval in the UFC 255 prelims.

Sources confirmed to ESPN that Figueiredo and Moreno had verbally agreed to fight at UFC 256 on December 12.

Figueiredo asked for Moreno in his postfight interview.

“Dana, make this happen,” Figueiredo said. “That’s the fight that I want to happen.”

Going in, ESPN had Figueiredo ranked No. 2 (behind Johnson) and Perez at No. 5 in the world at flyweight. ESPN also has Figueiredo ranked No. 8 in the world in its pound-for-pound rankings.

Glover Teixeira Submits Thiago Santos in UFC Fight Night Event

Glover Teixeira continues his winning ways…

The 41-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist submitted Thiago Santos via rear-naked choke at 1:49 of the third round on Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Glover Teixeira,

Santos rocked Teixeira in the first round and put Teixeira in big trouble to start the third. But Teixeira, as he has done time and time again, persevered and found the finish.

The victory puts Teixeira, six years following his most recent title shot, close to another chance at the 205-pound belt. ESPN had Santos ranked No. 4 and Teixeira No. 6 in the world at light heavyweight coming in.

Dana White, man,” Teixeira said, referring to the UFC president, in his post-fight interview. “Come on, man. I’m an old man. I’m here. You’ve gotta give me a shot. … It’s not easy. Give me that title shot, man. Either way, I’m so happy to be here.”

The UFC’s plan is to have light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz fight middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in a superfight next year. Blachowicz has said he’d prefer to fight in March and Adesanya told ESPN past week that his expectation is that Blachowicz will be his next opponent.

White didn’t back off Blachowicz vs. Adesanya as the plan, but he said he’s listening to Teixeira, too.

“I heard him and I agree with him and I’m taking him serious,” White told the UFC’s Laura Sanko in a backstage interview Saturday. “I’m not gonna doubt him anymore.

“He’s not wrong. … He’s been here forever, he’s on a streak. He looked great tonight. What’s funny is every time I count this guy out and think, ‘I don’t know if he’s got it,’ he proves me wrong. He looked incredible tonight.”

Teixeira (32-7) has won five straight. He lives and trains in Connecticut, and fought longtime former champion Jon Jones for the title way back at UFC 172 in April 2014. Teixeira is 10-4 since then and has been considered one of the best light heavyweights in the world now for the better part of a decade. Teixeira cashed as a +200 underdog.

In UFC light heavyweight history, Teixeira is now tied for second in victories (15) and is first in finishes (12).

Amanda Ribas in Talks to Fight Michelle Waterson in UFC 257 Bout

Amanda Ribas is thisclose to returning to the Octagon…

The UFC is close to finalizing a strawweight bout between the 27-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist and Michelle Waterson for UFC 257, according to multiple sources.

Amanda Ribas

The UFC 257 pay-per-view event is the first on the company’s 2021 schedule. The promotion hasn’t announced a location for the event or a main event, although UFC president Dana White has said the event is earmarked for Conor McGregor‘s return to the Octagon against Dustin Poirier.

Ribas (10-1) is one of the most promising prospects in the division. She is undefeated since signing with the UFC last year, and has taken out the likes of Emily WhitmireMackenzie DernRanda Markos and Paige VanZant. She finished VanZant with a first-round armbar at UFC 251 in July.

Waterson (18-8) is one of the most established names of the strawweight division, with a 6-4 record in the UFC dating back to 2015. The former Invicta FC champion was knocking on the door of title contention in 2019 before she suffered back-to-back decision losses to former champions Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Carla Esparza. Fighting out of Jackson Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Waterson has since rebounded from the two-fight skid with a win over Angela Hill.

Dominick Reyes In Talks to Fight Jiri Prochazka in a February UFC Fight Night Event

Dominick Reyes is thisclose to a headline fight…

The UFC is working on a light heavyweight fight between 30-year-old Mexican American mixed martial artist and Jiri Prochazka in February, according to UFC president Dana White.

Dominick Reyes

White tells ESPN the 205-pound contest will headline a UFC Fight Night on February 27. The UFC hasn’t yet announced an official venue for any of its events in 2021.

Reyes (12-2) nearly won the light heavyweight title twice this year. He came up just short in a decision loss to then-champion Jon Jones at UFC 247 in February in a five-round bout many felt Reyes won.

Reyes was granted another title shot after Jones vacated the belt this summer but suffered a TKO loss Jan Blachowicz.

Prochazka (27-3-1), a native of the Czech Republic, made a spectacular UFC debut in July on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, knocking out former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir in the second round at UFC 251. It was the 24th win by knockout in Prochazka’s professional career.

UFC Eyeing Rematch Between Jorge Masvidal & Nate Diaz

It looks like Jorge Masvidal could be getting the chance for a repeat…

The UFC is eyeing a welterweight rematch between the 35-year-old Cuban and Peruvian American mixed martial artist and Nate Diaz, according to UFC president Dana White.

Jorge Masvidal

Bout agreements haven’t been signed, but both sides are reportedly interested in the rematch.

The UFC is looking to book the rematch as the next bout for both Masvidal and Diaz, but a date hasn’t been set. TMZ has reported that the fight is targeted for UFC 256 on December 12. But sources tell ESPN the fight could also take place in January.

Masvidal and Diaz squared off last November in the main event of UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden for the inaugural BMF Championship. Masvidal (35-14) defeated Diaz via TKO when ringside physicians stopped the bout after the third round due to a facial cut. Diaz protested the stoppage.

Masvidal, who made history as the first Latino on the cover of the mixed martial arts fighting video game EA Sports UFC, went on to challenge Kamaru Usman for the welterweight championship at UFC 251 last month in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Masvidal accepted the fight on short notice after Usman’s original opponent, Gilbert Burns, was forced off the card at the last minute due to a positive COVID-19 test. Masvidal lost via unanimous decision.

Diaz (20-12) has not fought since the loss to Masvidal. The 35-year-old Mexican American welterweight fought twice in 2019 after a three-year layoff. He defeated Anthony Pettis in August of 2019 before losing to Masvidal in November.

Anderson Silva to Fight Uriah Hall in October UFC Fight Night

Anderson Silva is returning to the Octagon

The 45-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist, one of the greatest legends of the sport, has booked his next fight.

Anderson Silva

Silva has agreed to meet Uriah Hall in the main event of UFC Fight Night on October 31, according to UFC president Dana White.

The event will take place at a location to be determined. Silva’s longtime manager, Jorge Guimaraes, also confirmed the bout to ESPN.

During a news conference on Tuesday, White hinted it might be the final fight of Silva’s storied career. Guimares told ESPN a decision on his final fight has not yet been made, and the team is taking it fight by fight. Silva, a former middleweight champion, has two fights left on his UFC contract.

“We like the fight, and we’ll see how he does,” Guimaraes told ESPN. “The man is 45 years old, but he’s always in good shape, always training. I was at his house the other day, and he was training well. He’s lost a lot of weight, and he’s been eating healthy.”

Silva (34-10) was booked to fight Hall in May 2014, but he was forced to withdraw due to unexpected surgery to remove his gallbladder. Remarkably, Silva ended up fighting former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 on just two days’ notice two months after surgery.

The matchup has not been booked since, but the UFC has chosen now to revisit it. Silva has not fought since he suffered a TKO loss to Jared Cannonier at UFC 237 in May 2019. Silva suffered a knee injury in the bout, and it has kept him sidelined since. He underwent a stem cell procedure on the knee as recently as May.

Hall (15-9) has not yet fought in 2020. He has had terrible luck this year, as scheduled bouts against former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and former UFC title challenger Yoel Romero have fallen through. The Souza bout was canceled after the Brazilian fighter tested positive for COVID-19, and Romero pulled out of a fight against Hall this weekend due to injury.

Silva is considered one of the greatest fighters of all time. He held the UFC’s 185-pound middleweight title from 2006 to 2013.

Henry Cejudo Open to UFC Return for Fight Against Alexander Volkanovski

Henry Cejudo isn’t opposed to a UFC comeback…

The 33year-old Mexican American mixed martial artist and former UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion tells TMZ that he’d consider a return to the Octagon if he were given a fight against Alexander Volkanovski

Henry Cejudo

Cejudo wants a crack at Volkanovski’s UFC featherweight title to complete the championship trifecta — a feat no one in promotion history has ever pulled off.

“I’ve done everything in MMA,” Cejudo told TMZ.

“I’m satisfied with my career. There would only be one fight that would really bring me back — that would really wake me up in the morning. Other than [boxer] Ryan Garcia, it would be Alexander Volkanovski. That overgrown midget. I would love to make him bend the knee. He’s already halfway there.”

Cejudo, the former Olympic wrestling gold medalist, stunningly announced his retirement from MMA after successfully defending his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz last month at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida. There has been speculation, though, that Cejudo is using it as leverage to try and get a bigger contract from the UFC.

Since the retirement announcement, the UFC has removed Cejudo from the promotion’s official rankings and taken him off the website as bantamweight champion. UFC president Dana White has said that a vacant bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and former featherweight champion Jose Aldo is in the offing this summer.

Cejudo, though, acknowledged to TMZ for the first time that there was indeed a way to bring him back. That would be a chance at a third belt.

“I want to be different,” Cejudo said. “There’s a lot of champ champs. Obviously there’s only one Triple C — there’s only one Olympic champ, flyweight champ, bantamweight champion of the world. It’s just to cement it and go in the history books as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.”

Cejudo (16-2) is on a six-fight winning streak, a stretch that goes back to 2016. The Arizona resident is one of only four fighters in UFC history told hold two titles in two different weight classes at the same time. Cejudo owns wins over Cruz, TJ Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson.