Marina Rodriguez took one step closer towards her first UFC title shot last night (Sat., May 8, 2021) at UFC Vegas 26 live on ESPN/ESPN+ from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, when she outlasted veteran contender Michelle Waterson to earn a unanimous decision win in her main event debut.
Rodriguez pressured early with body kicks, knees, and punches, as Waterson tried to find her own range. “Karate Hottie” eventually did to land some crisp leg kicks and counter hooks. Rodriguez regained control in the second round and started to threaten with her clinch work. Waterson’s nose was busted up and bleeding from elbows and knees.
Rodriguez turned the heat up to begin the third round and landed some good flurries on the move. Waterson was able to score a few brutal leg kicks, one of which knocked Rodriguez to the ground. Rodriguez wouldn’t be denied and moved in closer on the feet to land crisp combinations in bunches.
Waterson turned the tables in the fourth with a takedown two minutes in. “Karate Hottie” was able to score short ground-and-pound from top position as Rodriguez seemed lost off her back. Waterson was able to postured up at the end of the round to land a few heavy elbows. Waterson followed her efforts up in the fifth round with some sharp kicks to the body. She even landed one to Rodriguez’s face that left a lump on her chin. Still, Rodriguez kept pushing forward and the two women battled it out for the final few minutes.
Check out the full fight video highlights below:
Cómo la tienes hasta ahora??? 3UFCVegas26 pic.twitter.com/w2lkYg4dBE— UFC Español (@UFCEspanol) May 9, 2021
For complete UFC Vegas 26 results and coverage click here.