Anytime exciting fighters like Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez get paired together, the natural assumption is fireworks. But there’s a little bit more than the potential for entertainment on tap when these two featherweights square off in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card from Las Vegas.
With both fighters ranked in the top three at 145 pounds, the winner could very much find themselves in the driver’s seat for a shot at Alexander Volkanovski’s title, which would mark the third time Holloway would be facing the champion in the past two years. But Holloway (22-6) isn’t focused exclusively on the potential prize of avenging his two close defeats to “Alexander the Great” should he be victorious this weekend.
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“At the end of the day, I have five title wins. Would I want my sixth title win against Alex? Sure. But UFC discussed with us a bunch of stuff,” Holloway said at Wednesday’s media scrum. “I have a win over the 155-pound champ [Charles Oliveira] right now. I’m on the short list for Conor McGregor, always. I’m the best boxer in the UFC. In the times like these, with these wild fights being made, use your guys’ imagination. That’s all I am going to say about it.”
Regardless of Holloway’s grand ambitions, the 29-year-old former champion from Hawaii knows the danger that comes from fighting Rodriguez (13-2, 1 NC), even if the native of Mexico enters following a two-year layoff — which included a six-month USADA suspension — as a large betting underdog.
The two fighters were originally scheduled to fight in July before Holloway was forced to postpone due to an injury. Holloway’s team forced him to undergo a mini-training camp to test the injury — which remains undisclosed — before they would greenlight him accepting a new date.
“All of my coaches were nervous,” Holloway said.”They said I better do a mini camp to see if the injury could handle the stress. It did and then we actually went into a real camp. Somebody is going to have to pay for that and Saturday night I have the perfect victim.”
Although Holloway respects Rodriguez, he preferred to downplay the stakes while speaking to the media, saying, “It’s just another fight. We have been there so many times.” He went on to say that had it not been Rodriguez in front of him for this fight, it could’ve been anyone and he would’ve been fine with that.
I know Max is a fighter that can keep up a good rhythm of fighting, but I think I am going to break that will and not let him. I have to finish him. I have to go there and get him.
UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Rodriguez – Television channels
Here are the details for watching UFC Fight Night 197 live on television in the United States, the United Kingdom and India.
The UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Rodriguez prelims and main card will be available for digital streaming live exclusively on ESPN Plus in the United States. Subscriptions for ESPN Plus are available at $6.99 monthly and $69.99 annually.
The Disney Plus Bundle is a more economical option that comes at $13.99 per month. The package gives you access to ESPN Plus, Disney Plus and the ad-inclusive version of Hulu together.
The UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Rodriguez prelims and main card will be broadcast live on BT Sport 1 in the United Kingdom. The event will be simulcast on the BT Sport app and website.
Contract-free and cancellable-anytime BT Sport monthly passes are available at £25 only. You do not have to own BT Broadband to be able to purchase the pass.
For anyone looking for long-term options, the ‘Sport’ contract at £15 a month or the premium ‘Big Sport’ contract at £40 a month can be added to existing BT Broadband or BT TV packages. Sky TV subscribers can add BT Sport to their television with a £20 per month contract as well.
Fight card, odds
- Max Holloway -650 vs. Yair Rodriguez +475, featherweights
- Ben Rothwell -170 vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima +145, heavyweights
- Felicia Spencer -300 vs. Leah Letson +240, women’s featherweights
- Song Yadong -135 vs. Julio Arce +115, bantamweights
- Miguel Baeza -150 vs. Khaos Williams +125, welterweights
Date: Nov. 13 | Start time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: UFC Apex — Las Vegas
Rodriguez’s 2018 victory over Chan Sung Jung is the perfect example of what makes him so dynamic and dangerous. Down on the scorecards in the closing seconds of their five-round thriller, Rodriguez bent forward and connected with an upward reverse elbow to knock “The Korean Zombie” out cold and produce one of the most viral and improbable victories in UFC history.
Watch UFC Fight Night – Holloway vs Rodriguez on November 14, 2021, LIVE on SONY TEN 1 (English) and SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) channels from 2:30 AM IST.
Full Fight Card–
Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodriguez
Ben Rothwell vs. Marcos Rogério de Lima
Felicia Spencer vs. Leah Letson
Roman Dolidze vs. Kyle Daukaus
Yadong Song vs. Julio Arce
Thiago Moisés vs. Joel Alvarez
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Andrea Lee
Miguel Baeza vs. Khaos Williams
Sean Woodson vs. Collin Anglin
Cortney Casey vs. Liana Jojua
Marc Diakiese vs. Rafael Alves
Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Da Un Jung