UFC Vegas 26 is going to have a new main event. As of right now, it looks to be a top strawweight clash between Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson.
It was revealed on Tuesday that former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw was going to have to put his comeback on hold. A headbutt in training caused a nasty laceration over his right eye forcing his removal from his fight with Cory Sandhagen. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani now reports that Marina Rodriguez vs. Michelle Waterson is likely to be the new headliner of the May 8 UFC event.
TJ Dillashaw v Cory Sandhagen is off.
I’m told Michelle Waterson x Marina Rodriguez is the frontrunner to replace it as the new 5/8 main. https://t.co/XUI8RE072G
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 28, 2021
“TJ Dillashaw v Cory Sandhagen is off,” Helwani’s tweet read.
“I’m told Michelle Waterson x Marina Rodriguez is the frontrunner to replace it as the new 5/8 main.”
The “Karate Hottie” Waterson (18-8) is no stranger to the headlining spot. A former Invicta FC atomweight champion, in her UFC career Waterson has competed in three main events – just as many as she headlined in Invicta.
In her most recent appearance against Angela Hill in September, Michelle Waterson headlined again and picked up a hard-fought split decision victory. What was also a short notice coming together for that spot, the two managed to be rewarded with the fight of the night honors for their efforts.
Brazil’s Rodriguez (13-1-2), on the other hand, is coming off of the biggest win of her career as well. At UFC 257 kicking off the main card, the Muay Thai striker derailed the hype of Amanda Ribas with a devastating second-round knockout. The win put the 33-year old back in the win column after her second career draw and first loss. A main event against the No. 9 ranked Michelle Waterson would be her first time closing the show.
Coincidentally enough, the No. 6 ranked Marina Rodriguez actually filled in for Michelle Waterson to take on Ribas in that aforementioned last time out. Now they potentially get to battle for supremacy.