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UFC books Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez to headline Long Island card

Top featherweights are set to battle in July.

Brian Ortega before he fought Alex Volkanovski at UFC 266.
Brian Ortega before he fought Alex Volkanovski at UFC 266.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

The UFC has announced that their show scheduled for Long Island, NY on July 16 will be headlined by two of the best featherweights on the planet: Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez.

Ortega currently sits second in the UFC featherweight rankings, behind former champ Max Holloway and reigning kingpin Alexander Volkanovski. Rodriguez is ranked fourth. With Volkanovski and Holloway set to dance for a third time, also in July, this fight could well determine the next challenger at 135 lbs.

Ortega has been there twice before. His last fight was a unanimous decision defeat to Volkanovski in the main event of UFC 266. In 2018 he lost, via TKO, to Holloway for the title. His only fight between those losses was a lopsided decision victory over Chan Sung Jung.

Prior to losing to Holloway, Ortega was undefeated in his career — going 14-0 (1 NC). The UFC competition he beat to earn his title shot included Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson and Renato Moicano.

Rodriguez last fought in November; losing a unanimous decision to Holloway. Prior to that he defeated Jeremy Stephens (in a make-up fight after a no contest marred their main event in Mexico City) and KO’d Chan Sung Jung with an epic last second elbow strike.

Rodriguez’s career record is 13-3 (1 NC). His other UFC loss is to Edgar. He holds notable wins over B.J. Penn, Alex Caceres and Dan Hooker.

In addition to Ortega vs. Rodriguez, UFC Long Island is set to feature Askar Askarov vs. Alex Perez, Michelle Waterson vs. Amanda Lemos, Ricky Simon vs. Jack Shore and Li Jingliang vs. Muslin Salikhov.