UFC women’s strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez is hoping that she earns a title shot against Rose Namajunas with a win at UFC Vegas 26.
Rodriguez fights for the first time this weekend since her upset KO win over Amanda Ribas earlier this year at UFC 257 on Fight Island. She takes on Waterson in a five-round main event that could have title implications at strawweight, though the fight takes place at flyweight since it was booked on short notice. With Rodriguez coming off of a great win over Ribas, another big knockout over Waterson would certainly catapult her closer to the top of the division, which currently sees Namajunas as the top fighter in the weight class.
After Namajunas knocked out Weili Zhang to win the belt at UFC 261, it’s not clear who will be next to fight her. Zhang could get the rematch, but the UFC may instead look to give someone else the shot. The winner of Carla Esparza vs. Yan Xiaonan could be next, or Tatiana Suarez if she can return from injuries. There is the chance that Joanna Jedrzejczyk could get the trilogy fight, but it seems more likely she will have to fight again. That’s why Rodriguez finds herself in such a good spot right now. And as she tells UFC.com, she is hoping to parlay a big win this weekend into a title shot.
“After winning this fight, I believe I am very close to a title shot. 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, I know I am,” Rodriguez said.
Do you think Marina Rodriguez should get the next title shot against Rose Namajunas if she beats Michelle Waterson this weekend at UFC Vegas 26?