The top of the UFC Vegas 42 billing witnessed an exciting five-round affair between former featherweight champion, Max Holloway, and the promotion’s #3 ranked featherweight, Yair Rodriguez. It was the former 145-pound king that came out with the unanimous nod, but Yair definitely made him work for it.
The opening round didn’t see much feeling out. Both men went right to work, landing throw respective strikes. Yair was mixing in his kicks, especially to the calf. Holloway was working mostly boxing as usual, but was mixing in knees and kicks here and there. The former champ even launched a flying knee at his opponent. In the third stanza, Hollowed countered a kick with a stiff jab to knock Rodriguez to his back. He then racked up some top control time while dropping some punishment, and then saw more success on the ground in the fourth. Rodriguez went for it in the final round, throwing more aggressive kicks behind his punches. It just wasn’t enough to best “Blessed.”
Check out Tim Burke’s play-by-play of the first-round of Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodriguez :
Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodríguez, Round 1
Holloway pushes Rodriguez to the mat, but he throws a strike up from there. Creative. Low kicks from both men, and a hard right from Max. Rodriguez sticks a jab. They trade big shots. Nice combo from El Pantera. Two low kicks. Holloway clips him with a right. Another nice combo from Rodriguez. Body kick. Rodriguez is throwing a ton of leg kicks. Head kick. Big right from Rodriguez! Holloway cracks him right back! Holloway fakes a takedown attempt. Rodriguez has a small cut under his eye. Holloway with a spinning back kick. Rodriguez briefly takes him down, and is stuck to his back in a standing position now. Holloway deftly dodges another takedown. Rodriguez jumps and ends up on his back at the horn. 10-9 Rodriguez. Great round.
Max Holloway def. Yair Rodriguez by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47 x2): Featherweight