What’s next for Yair Rodriguez and Brian Ortega after UFC Long Island?

Yair Rodriguez, Brian Ortega

In the main event of UFC Long Island, a crucial featherweight fight headlined the card as Yair Rodriguez took on Brian Ortega.

Rodriguez entered the fight coming off a decision loss to Max Holloway back in November while Ortega lost a decision to Alexander Volkanovski for the featherweight belt.

In the end, it was Rodriguez winning by first-round TKO due to Ortega’s shoulder popping out. It was a disappointing way for the fight to end as it barely got going. Now, after UFC Long Island, here is what I think should be next for both men.

Yair Rodriguez

In the lead-up to UFC Long Island, Rodriguez said he was promised a title shot with a win over Ortega. Volkanovski also said he would be paying close attention to the fight but given how it ended, it doesn’t seem likely Rodriguez will get the crack at the undisputed title.

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However, Volkanovski is dealing with a hand injury and says he wants the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev. If that happens, Volkanovski will be off for a while so an interim featherweight title between Rodriguez and Josh Emmett makes a ton of sense. It can be the co-main event on a pay-per-view later this year as both men deserve to fight for the belt.

Brian Ortega

Brian Ortega is now on a two-fight losing streak and could be sidelined for quite some time after dislocating his shoulder. Given he will be off for a while, it’s uncertain how the featherweight division will look when he returns.

He could get an immediate rematch against Rodriguez, yet a fight that makes sense is to face the winner of Giga Chikadze vs. Sodiq Yusuff. The fight is taking place on September 17 and the winner won’t likely fight until next year, which makes sense timing-wise. It would also be a top-ranked opponent for Ortega to prove he still is a top-five featherweight.

Who do you think should be next for Yair Rodriguez and Brian Ortega?

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