Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back at it again as the promotion gears up to stage UFC Vegas 42 later today (Sat., Nov. 13, 2021) from inside its UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Headlining the ESPN+-streamed event will be a pivotal Featherweight bout between Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez. In the co-main event, Heavyweight bruisers Ben Rothwell and Marcos Rogerio de Lima collide in what is sure to be a hard-hitting affair.
After suffering back-to-back losses to current division champion Alexander Volkanovski, Max Holloway got back in the win column with a dominant and memorable performance against Calvin Kattar at the beginning of 2021 on “Fight Island.” With the win, “Blessed” reminded everyone that he is still at the top of his game and is more than capable of becoming champion again. Before he gets another crack at reclaiming his throne he has to get through a tough-as-nails competitor in Yair Rodriguez, who has championship aspirations of his own.
Believe it or not, it’s been more than two years since we last saw Rodriguez compete inside the Octagon, with his last fight coming against Jeremy Stephens in Oct. 2019. His absence has caused many to forget just how dominant he has been during his seven-year run with the promotion, going an impressive 8-1-1 with his lone loss coming at the hands of Frankie Edgar. Now that he is back, “El Pantera” is looking to upset the order at 145 pounds by taking out the former champion.
When you dissect the fight, no one should expect anything less than fireworks when these two creative strikers go toe-to-toe in what will likely be a 25-minute war. They will have their work cut out for them if they want to top Michael Chandler vs. Justin Gaethje, but that isn’t the endgame here. Each man is looking for a win in order to get one step closer to a title fight, which would be Rodriguez’s first. Holloway clearly has a striking advantage, but Rodriguez is more than capable of going strike for strike with anyone in the division. Whether or not that’s a good idea against “Blessed” remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain, Rodriguez won’t shy away from a stand up battle.
To be honest, there isn’t a ton to complain about here. The card is filled with several exciting match ups that may not pop out at you at first, but once you get to dissecting the fights they are very even and intriguing. We’re nearing the end of 2021 so the promotion is trying to end the year with a bang, even when it comes down to its “Fight Night” events.
Original Card Vs. Actual Card:
Jessica Eye was in line to face Andrea Lee, but was forced out and ultimately replaced by Cynthia Calvillo. Ovince Saint Preux was supposed to face Phillipe Lins on the card before he bowed out for undisclosed reasons. As a result, Lins was removed from the event altogether.
Kyle Daukaus was initially set to rematch Kevin Holland before “Trailblazer” was bounced from the ESPN+ event with an injury. Also, Roman Dolidze was set to face Eryk Anders at this event before Anders suffered an undisclosed injury. Daukaus and Dolidze were then booked to fight each other before Dolidze was forced out because of COVID-19 protocols.
No newcomers for this event!
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
After a shaky start to his UFC career, Kennedy Nzechukwu has rattled off three straight wins to improve to 3-1 inside the Octagon. In his last two fights he earned “Performance of the Night” honors thanks to consecutive stoppages, which lets you know he’s all about the action. He will look to earn his fourth straight win against another streaking Light Heavyweight in Da-un Jung, who has won 12 of his last 13 fights and is 3-1 so far under the UFC banner. My only question is: Why didn’t this fight earn a spot on the main card?
Marc Diakiese was at one point considered a legit contender at Lightweight. But after starting off his UFC career with three straight wins, he went on to lose three in a row. He bounced back with two straight wins only to lose in his last outing. Basically, Diakiese is as inconsistent as they come. He will look to get back on track when he takes on Rafael Alves who is looking for his first UFC win after dropping his debut against Damir Ismagulov.
Liana Jojua didn’t endear herself to fight fans or the promotion after she failed to make weight for her women’s Flyweight bout against Cortney Casey, the loser of two in a row. As a result, she will now have to fork over 30 percent of her purse to her opponent. Also coming in heavy for the event was Joel Alvarez, who will be fined the same amount for not hitting the mark for his 155-pound bout against Thiago Moises.
Sean Woodson will look to improve to 3-1 under the UFC banner when he takes on Collin Anglin, who is in search of his first UFC win after throwing up a dud in his debut against Melsik Baghdasaryan earlier this year.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
It seems like so long ago that Cynthia Calvillo was being pushed by president Dana White as a legit threat to the Strawweight bout. She did start her UFC career at 6-1-1, but thanks to a couple of scale fails, a failed drug test, and recent back-to-back losses, Calvillo has fallen out of favor with White. She is still as talented as ever but needs a win against Andrea Lee, who recently snapped her three-fight skid by submitting Antonina Shevchenko. A loss for Calvillo would be disastrous for her future with the promotion.
Interest Level: 7/10
It’s a pretty decent line up. The main event is guaranteed to be fire, but the rest of the main card is looking pretty good, too. Rothwell is looking for his first back-to-back win streak in two years when he tussles against Marcos Rogerio de Lima, who has alternated wins and losses during his entire seven-year run with the promotion.
In a rare women’s Featherweight bout, Felicia Spencer is hoping to stop the bleeding of her two-fight losing streak when she takes on Leah Letson. Spencer hasn’t had an easy run during her stint with the promotion, going just 1-3 with two of those losses coming against Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes. Letson, meanwhile, is on a five-fight win streak, though she hasn’t competed in three years after winning her UFC debut against Julija Stoliarenko in 2018.
The one fight that has the chance to steal the show from Holloway and Rodriguez is Miguel Baeza versus Khaos Williams. Both fighters are known for pushing the pace and never backing down from a banger. Williams is 3-1 inside the Octagon with two knockouts to his credit, while Baeza was 10-0 up until he suffered a loss at the hands of Santiago Ponzinibbio in his last outing. All three of his wins inside the Octagon have come by way of second-round stoppage.
Opening up the main card will be a Bantamweight fight between Sony Yadong and Julio Arce. Yadong is a respectable 5-1-1 so far under the bright lights of UFC and has big wins over Marlon Vera and Alejandro Perez. Arce, on the other hand, is a 3-2 with the promotion, though he does have a huge win over Dan Ige in his UFC debut. He is in search of back-to-back wins after knocking out Andre Ewell in his last bout.
Enjoy the fights!
UFC Vegas 42 Main Event On ESPN+:
145 lbs.: Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodriguez
UFC Vegas 42 Main Card On ESPN+:
265 lbs.: Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Ben Rothwell
145 lbs.: Leah Letson vs. Felicia Spencer
170 lbs.: Miguel Baeza vs. Khaos Williams
135 lbs.: Julio Arce vs. Song Yadong
185 lbs: Kyle Daukaus vs. Roman Dolidze— CANCELED (details here)
UFC Vegas 42 ‘Prelims’ Under Card On ESPN+:
155 lbs.: Joel Alvarez vs. Thiago Moises
125 lbs.: Andrea Lee vs. Cynthia Calvillo
145 lbs.: Collin Anglin vs. Sean Woodson
125 lbs.: Cortney Casey vs. Liana Jojua
155 lbs.: Marc Diakiese vs. Rafael Alves
205 lbs.: Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Da-un Jung
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights remain subject to change due to COVID-19.*
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 42 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN+ at 4 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 42: “Holloway vs. Rodriguez” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.