It looks like two of featherweight’s best action-fighting talents are ready for an Octagon return. ESPN has confirmed that the UFC is currently working on booking a five-round Fight Night main event between former title challenger Brian Ortega and longtime top-ranked taekwondo stylist Yair Rodriguez.
Rodriguez (13-3) last took to the cage back in November of 2021—his first fight in over two years—losing an absolute war to former champion Max Holloway. That contest marked the first defeat for ‘El Pantera’ since a 2017 doctor’s stoppage loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC 211. Following a victory over Jeremy Stephens in 2019, an ankle injury and a USADA whereabout violations resulted in significant time on the shelf for the fighter based out of Huntington Beach, CA. Hopefully this booking marks an indication that Rodriguez will be a bit more active inside the Octagon going forward.
For Ortega (15-2) this bout will represent his first fight since losing his second bid for UFC gold—this time against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 266. Ortega battled Max Holloway for the belt back in 2018, losing via doctor’s stoppage at the end of the fourth round. Between those fights ‘T-City’ picked up a dominant decision over recent title challenger Chan Sung Jung.
The Fight Night event is expected to take place on July 16th. No location for the event has been announced as of yet. Alongside the expected featherweight main event, a flyweight top contender’s bout between Askar Askarov and Alex Perez has also been set for the card.