Marina Rodriguez isn’t expecting a title shot with a win against Michelle Waterson at UFC Vegas 26, but if the opportunity arises then she would take it.
This weekend, when she faces fellow top strawweight contender Waterson, Rodriguez will feature in her very first UFC main event. The 34-year-old, who beat Amanda Ribas by knockout at UFC 257, has only lost once since being signed to the UFC in 2018.
Talking recently to UFC.com, Rodriguez says she would welcome a fight with current champion Rose Namajunas, if she gets past Waterson.
“After winning this fight, I believe I am very close to a title shot,” Rodriguez said. “I might have to beat one of the Top 3 first — Yan (Xiaonan), Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), or Zhang (Weili) — but it depends a bit on who the next challenger will be; that will determine quite a lot about my near future. But if none of them are up to fighting Rose (Namajunas), I know I am!”
Namajunas (10-4) won the strawweight title for the second time when she defeated Weili Zhang by first-round knockout at UFC 261 last month. With #3 ranked strawweight Carla Esparza facing #4 ranked Yao Xiaonan next month, the winner of that fight will likely be next in line to face Namajunas.
UFC Vegas 26 happens this Saturday at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, NV.