Yair Rodriguez to Fight Josh Emmett for Interim UFC Featherweight Title

Yair Rodriguez is headed Down Under

The 30-year-old Mexican professional mixed martial artist will fight Josh Emmett for the interim UFC featherweight title in the co-main event of the February 11 card in Perth, Australia, according to the UFC.

Yair RodriguezThe UFC is making an interim title, because undisputed champion Alexander Volkanovski will move up to lightweight and challenge champion Islam Makhachev for that title in the UFC 284 headliner.

ESPN has Rodriguez ranked No. 4 in the world at featherweight, and Emmett is ranked No. 7.

Rodriguez (14-3, 1 NC) is coming off a victory over Brian Ortega at UFC Long Island in July. The Mexican-born striker has just one loss in his past five fights.

Emmett (18-2) has won five straight. The 37-year-old California resident is coming off a split decision win over Calvin Kattar in June.

Edson Barboza Agrees to New Deal with UFC, Sets Fight Against Shane Burgos

Edson Barboza is staying put in the UFC, and he’s lining up his next opponent…

The 35-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist and former Muay Thai kickboxer, a UFC featherweight, has agreed to battle Shane Burgos  in May, according to their teams.

Edson Barboza

The 145-pound bout will take place at UFC 262 on May 15. The UFC hasn’t announced an official venue for the pay-per-view event.

In addition to the bout, Barboza (21-9) has signed a new deal with the UFC. The Brazilian fighter had expressed interest in testing free agency in 2021 but ultimately elected to sign an extension with the promotion he has fought for since 2010.

“We’ve renewed with the UFC, with the understanding Edson wants to be extremely active,” Barboza’s manager Alex Davis told ESPN. “We believe Edson has a good chance to be a contender at featherweight. All the conditions are there now. It’s up to the UFC to give him fights that make sense, and it’s up to Edson to win those fights.”

Burgos (13-2), of New York, shared his excitement on the matchup.

“This is the one,” Burgos told ESPN. “I only want big fights, and this one feels huge. Everyone knows Edson. I’ve been watching him fight in the UFC since I was fighting amateur. I plan on making the absolute most out of this opportunity.”

Burgos is coming off a decision loss to ranked contender Josh Emmett in June, which was his only appearance of 2020. Before that setback, the 29-year-old had won three in a row.

Ricardo Lamas to Face Ryan Hall in UFC Fight Night Next Month

Ricardo Lamas headed back to the Octagon…

The featherweight bout between the 38-year-old Mexican and Cuban American mixed martial artist and former UFC title challenger and Ryan Hall has been rebooked for a UFC Fight Night event on August 29, according to ESPN.

Ricardo Lamas

The 145-pound contest was originally scheduled to take place in May in Oklahoma City, but the event was scrapped because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The UFC has since picked up a consistent schedule, hosting six events in six weeks at its Apex facility in Las Vegas. The promotion is preparing to host four events this month at “Fight Island,” in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Lamas (19-8) has lost three of his past four contests, but all three of the losses were to highly ranked opposition in Calvin KattarMirsad Bektic and Josh Emmett. He fought Jose Aldo for the UFC championship in 2014, and also has faced the likes of Max HollowayChad Mendes and Charles Oliveira over the course of his career.

Hall (8-1), of Falls Church, Virginia, has fought only four times since making his UFC debut in 2015. The submission specialist has had difficulty booking opponents at times, but holds wins against former lightweight champion B.J. Penn and title challenger Gray Maynard. He is 4-0 inside the Octagon.