Yair Rodriguez will be fighting for more than just a win on Saturday when he meets Brian Ortega in the main event of UFC on ABC 3.
The UFC Long Island event pairs two of the promotion’s top featherweights in a five-round headliner with title implications on the line.
Rodriguez told The MMA Hour on Monday that UFC officials have promised him a title shot if he comes out victorious on July 16.
“Yes, that has been said to me,” Rodriguez confirmed about the title shot opportunity. “Yeah, that’s what we’re looking for.
“First things first, I’m going to win this fight and then give the champ some time to heal and yeah, go for it. For now, let’s take it step by step, first things first, July 16, Brian Ortega, that’s for now.”
The news may be surprising to some seeing how Rodriguez enters the contest this weekend, coming off a unanimous decision loss to former champion Max Holloway in November.
As of press time, both Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett are tied at number three in the UFC featherweight rankings. The only men above them on the list are Holloway and Ortega, so if Rodriguez can pull off the win on Saturday, the decision to run with him as the title contender should make a little more sense. The only one who might argue the call is Emmett.
UFC on ABC 3 fight card:
Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez – 145 lbs
Michelle Waterson vs. Amanda Lemos – 125 lbs
Jingliang Li vs. Muslim Salikhov – 170 lbs
Matt Schnell vs. Sumudaerji – 125 lbs
Shane Burgos vs. Charles Jourdain – 145 lbs
Lauren Murphy vs. Miesha Tate – 125 lbs
Punahele Soriano vs. D. Lungiambula – 185 lbs
Ricky Simón vs. Jack Shore – 135 lbs
Bill Algeo vs. Herbert Burns – 145 lbs
Dustin Jacoby vs. Da Un Jung – 205 lbs
Dwight Grant vs. Dustin Stoltzfus – 185 lbs
Jessica Penne vs. Emily Ducote – 115 lbs
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