In the main event of UFC Vegas 42, top-three featherweights collided as Max Holloway took on Yair Rodriguez in a highly-anticipated fight.
Holloway entered the fight coming off a five-round dominant decision win over Calvin Kattar where he landed 445 significant strikes. Prior to that, he suffered back-to-back decision losses to Alexander Volkanovski to lose his featherweight title. Yair Rodriguez, meanwhile, hadn’t fought since 2019 due to a USADA suspension and injures but was coming off a decision win over Jeremy Stephens.
In the end, it was Holloway who won a clear-cut decision as he outstruck Rodriguez and even mixed in wrestling to control the fight. Now, after UFC Vegas 42, here is what I think should be next for Holloway and Rodriguez.
In the lead-up to UFC Vegas 42, Max Holloway didn’t seem too interested in the trilogy with Alexander Volkanovski as he mentioned the McGregor rematch, boxing, and the fact he holds a win over Charles Oliveira who is the lightweight champion.
Although the Hawaiian does have options for his next fight, his next fight has to be the trilogy against Volkanovski. Many thought he won the second fight, and although Holloway is down 0-2 in the series, many view it as 1-1 so the trilogy has to happen. It can headline a pay-per-view or be a co-main on a PPV, but the fight should happen sometime in the first half of 2022.
Yair Rodriguez’s stock did not go down at all with a loss, instead, to me, it went up.
Rodriguez had moments in his UFC Vegas 42 main event against Holloway, especially in the first round as he appeared to at least stun Holloway. Although he didn’t get the win, it was a more competitive fight than some thought and it proved he is a top featherweight contender. For his next fight, a main event fight against Brian Ortega makes all the sense.
Both Rodriguez and Ortega are coming off hard-fought decision losses, but the winner would be right back in contention for a title shot. It’s also a fun stylistic matchup that can headline a Fight Night card sometime in early to mid-2022.
What do you think should be next for Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez?