We last saw flashy featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez inside the UFC Octagon 2019, when he faced Jeremy Stephens in a rematch. “El Pantera” sat out the entire 2020 and spent six months serving a USADA-imposed suspension.
The 28-year-old Rodriguez (13-2) is now set to make his return this year. His first assignment back: a headliner against former featherweight champion Max Holloway.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the news on Wednesday, revealing that the bout will take place on July 17.
Oh boy. Here we go. Five round main event, July 17. Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA vs. Yair Rodriguez (@panteraufc), per Dana White. The self proclaimed best boxer in MMA returns. pic.twitter.com/qCKbC3YmM4— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 27, 2021
Holloway (23-5) is fresh off his record-breaking performance and five-round beating of Calvin Kattar early this year in Fight Island. In the said fight, he attempted a total of 744 significant strikes (445 of which he landed), surpassing Colby Covington’s previous record of 515 from the 2019 Robbie Lawler fight.
Also part of the July 17 event, which likely takes place at the APEX is the return of former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate. She will face number 12-ranked Marion Reneau.