Matchmaker Monday following UFC Vegas 26

Matchmaker Monday following UFC Vegas 26

UFC Vegas 26 provided a new top contender in the UFC’s most stacked women’s division.

Marina Rodriguez found herself on the winning end of a unanimous decision victory over fan favorite Michelle Waterson in Saturday’s main event and that win puts her into prime position strawweight division.

While the fight took place at flyweight due to the two taking it on short notice, the fight played a factor in 115-pound division. Rodriguez is closing in on a huge fight, while Waterson may drop out of the top 10. Let’s find out what’s next for both of these ladies on this Matchmaker Monday.

Marina Rodriguez
Result: defeated Michelle Waterson by unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 26
Next: Mackenzie Dern

Rodriguez has a lot of momentum on her side. She’s 4-1-1 in her last six fights. Her draw to Cynthia Calvillo and her split decision loss to Carla Esparza could have easily went her way.

She’s due for a big fight, however there is some unclarity in the top of the division.

Rose Namajunas is now the champion and history shows she’ll hold up the division. Namajnas will likely rematch Weili Zhang, however many people are jockeying to have Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk rematch in a title elimination fight. There’s also Yan Xiaonan and Carla Esparza, who have an upcoming fight with one another and the winner has a case for a title shot.

That leaves two fighters on the outside looking in and both of the fighters are trying to make the case for one of the division’s top tier fighters. Those two are Rodriguez and Dern. Book the two for the fight and the winner finally gets the big fight they’ve been looking for.

Michelle Waterson
Result: lost to Marina Rodriguez by unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 26
Next: Virna Jandiroba

Waterson is in a really tough position as she’s now lost three out of four fights.

She is loved by the fans and loved by the promotion so she may still get another well named opponent in her next outing, but I think she should pump the breaks and fight someone ranked behind her.

Right now Waterson sits at No. 9, but she may drop after the loss. Plus Amanda Ribas and Angela Hill are expected to have their fight rescheduled soon and the winner of that fight may jump her in the rankings.

Ribas has called for Waterson in the past so never rule that fight out, but if she defeats Hill, she’ll want someone ranked higher.

Given all of that, Waterson and Jandiroba seems to fit the bill.

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