The main event showcases former champion Max Holloway taking on Yair Rodriguez. Both fighters are an inch under six feet tall, but Rodriguez will have a two-inch reach advantage. Despite the reach disadvantage, Holloway comes into the bout as a heavy favorite and with good reason. Holloway has three losses in his previous five fights, but this doesn’t tell the whole story. Two are back-to-back defeats to the reigning featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and the other is against lightweight challenger Dustin Poirier. Before those setbacks, Holloway put together a thirteen-fight win streak.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez hasn’t been very active recently. His last fight was against Jeremy Stephens in 2019. The quality of their opponents differs significantly as well. Rodriguez has wins over Stephens, Chan Sung Jung, and B.J Penn, but Holloway has fought the best fighters at featherweight since 2015.
Holloway is a volume fighter and not just any volume fighter. He puts up more punches than anyone else in the UFC. If Max isn’t outright winning on the feet with superior technique, he will outwork every single fighter he faces. The former featherweight champ is also tough to finish, only stopped once in his entire career, a submission loss to Poirier nine years ago. Conversely, Rodriguez was finished by Frankie Edgar in 2017, at the beginning of Edgar’s eventual decline in the division.
Activity, strength of competition, experience, and durability point to Holloway coming away with the victory. Rodriguez is by no means a bad fighter, but Holloway is in another tier. We expect the Hawaiian to overwhelm Rodriguez with punches and finish him in the latter half of the fight. This fight is a five-rounder, which only helps Holloway because he has a seemingly endless gas tank.
The Bets: Holloway by KO/TKO (+140), KO/TKO (-105), Will the fight go the distance? No (-102)