In the main event of UFC Vegas 26, Marian Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson stepped up on short notice to headline the card up a weight class at flyweight.
Rodriguez entered the fight coming off the biggest win of her career as she TKO’d Amanda Ribas at UFC 257 in January. The Brazilian was 3-1-2 in the UFC and her lone loss was a controversial split decision to Carla Esparza. Waterson, meanwhile, returned to the win column last September with a split decision win over Angela Hill.
In the end, it was Rodriguez getting a clear-cut decision win as she was able to outstrike Waterson and land the harder shots. “The Karate Hottie” did have moments in the fight, however, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
Now, after UFC Vegas 26, here’s what I think should be next for Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson.
Rodriguez proved she could go five rounds on Saturday night and continued to show she’s a force to be reckoned with at strawweight.
The Brazilian has shown some holes in her takedown defense and was taken down in this fight, but when it remains standing, she’s a phenomenal striker. It’s likely she will get a top-five opponent next time out and the perfect opponent is Joanna Jedrzjeczyk.
Jedrzejczyk has said she doesn’t want to fight unless it’s for the belt. However, it’s unlikely she will get a title shot, but if she can beat Rodriguez in a main event later this year, she solidifies her case. For Rodriguez, it’s a chance to get the biggest win of her career and earn herself a title shot.
Michelle Waterson is a perennial contender but seems to come up just short when she gets a big fight.
Although Waterson is just 2-3 in her last five, she still has the style to beat most of the women ranked 10-15. A fight that does make sense is to face Nina Nunes next time out as both women are looking to get back into the win column. The winner could get a top-five opponent next time out while the loser would likely have to face someone unranked or near the bottom of the ranks.
What do you think should be next for Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson after UFC Vegas 26?This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM