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UFC Fight Night predictions — Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodriguez: Fight card, odds, start time, live stream

Anytime thrilling fighters like Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez get paired collectively, the pure assumption is fireworks. However there’s a little bit bit greater than the potential for leisure on faucet when these two featherweights sq. off in the primary occasion of Saturday’s UFC Struggle Night time card from Las Vegas.  

With each fighters ranked within the high three at 145 kilos, the winner may very a lot discover themselves within the driver’s seat for a shot at Alexander Volkanovski’s title, which might mark the third time Holloway could be dealing with the champion prior to now two years. However Holloway (22-6) is not targeted solely on the potential prize of avenging his two shut defeats to “Alexander the Nice” ought to he be victorious this weekend.  

“On the finish of the day, I’ve 5 title wins. Would I would like my sixth title win in opposition to Alex? Certain. However UFC mentioned with us a bunch of stuff,” Holloway stated at Wednesday’s media scrum. “I’ve a win over the 155-pound champ [Charles Oliveira] proper now. I am on the brief listing for Conor McGregor, all the time. I am the very best boxer within the UFC. Within the instances like these, with these wild fights being made, use your guys’ creativeness. That is all I’m going to say about it.” 

No matter Holloway’s grand ambitions, the 29-year-old former champion from Hawaii is aware of the hazard that comes from combating Rodriguez (13-2, 1 NC), even when the native of Mexico enters following a two-year layoff — which included a six-month USADA suspension — as a big betting underdog.  

Holloway has in contrast Rodriguez’s harmful hanging fashion to that of former light-weight champion Anthony Pettis, whom “Blessed” defeated by TKO for the interim featherweight belt in 2016.  

“I feel Yair is a little bit bit extra spinny and jumpy,” Holloway stated. “He is tremendous explosive and it’s important to respect that.”

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Rodriguez, 29, enters the battle with a report of 10-1 since 2013, which incorporates eight wins contained in the Octagon and only a single loss when he was stopped by Frankie Edgar 4 years in the past. But regardless of his shiny report and thrilling fashion, he has but to have totally capitalized upon his vivid potential.  

“I need to show myself in opposition to Max Holloway as a result of I do know what sort of a fighter he’s,” Rodriguez stated. “I’m positive that the title shot goes to be in entrance of me, however first I’ve to win in opposition to Max. Something can occur from there and I’m not targeted on that.  

“I do know Max is a fighter that may sustain rhythm of combating, however I feel I’m going to interrupt that may and never let him. I’ve to complete him. I’ve to go there and get him.” 

The 2 fighters had been initially scheduled to battle in July earlier than Holloway was pressured to postpone attributable to an damage. Holloway’s workforce pressured him to bear a mini-training camp to check the damage — which stays undisclosed — earlier than they might greenlight him accepting a brand new date.  

“All of my coaches had been nervous,” Holloway stated.”They stated I higher do a mini camp to see if the damage may deal with the stress. It did after which we really went into an actual camp. Someone goes to must pay for that and Saturday night time I’ve the right sufferer.” 

Though Holloway respects Rodriguez, he most popular to downplay the stakes whereas chatting with the media, saying, “It is simply one other battle. We’ve been there so many instances.” He went on to say that had it not been Rodriguez in entrance of him for this battle, it may’ve been anybody and he would’ve been effective with that.  

“The saying is straightforward — everybody, each time, wherever,” Holloway stated. “There are a whole lot of guys on the elevator they usually all need to go straight to the highest. Since UFC would not have a event construction, the road is tremendous lengthy. I ain’t in regards to the elevator life. You’ll find me on the stairs. I’ve been operating up and down that unhealthy boy, wherever we acquired to go. The UFC did inform us we did not must take [Rodriguez] however I sat down with my coaches and all of us agreed that we’re not elevated divas.  

“In case you consider you’re the greatest fighter on this planet, that is what you need to be doing.” 

Stakes apart, the expectations for the mix of violence and drama stay robust, which has battle followers of all types licking their lips in anticipation.  

“I let you know guys on a regular basis that when you’ve got pals, household or colleagues who you are attempting to get into MMA to look at UFC, make them tune in on Saturday,” Holloway stated. “You’ll get new followers and you’re welcome prematurely as a result of you’re going to have a brand new buddy to look at fights with.” 

Struggle card, odds

  • Max Holloway -650 vs. Yair Rodriguez +475, featherweights
  • Ben Rothwell -160 vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima +135, heavyweights
  • Felicia Spencer -300 vs. Leah Letson +240, ladies’s featherweights
  • Track Yadong -135 vs. Julio Arce +115, bantamweights
  • Miguel Baeza -150 vs. Khaos Williams +125, welterweights

Viewing data

Date: Nov. 13 | Begin time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: UFC Apex — Las Vegas
Stream: ESPN+

Prediction 

Rodriguez’s 2018 victory over Chan Sung Jung is the right instance of what makes him so dynamic and harmful. Down on the scorecards within the closing seconds of their five-round thriller, Rodriguez bent ahead and linked with an upward reverse elbow to knock “The Korean Zombie” out chilly and produce one of the viral and inconceivable victories in UFC historical past.  

But, for as harmful as Rodriguez is, he could be simply as mercurial — each out and in of the Octagon. It is a part of why he is not often talked about within the total 145-pound title image regardless of being extremely ranked with such a formidable report.  

Rodriguez will merely should be extra than simply harmful to complete Holloway, whose mixture of size, quantity hanging and an iron chin make him altogether the worst sort of matchup for Rodriguez to excel in opposition to.  

Count on Holloway to try to preserve Rodriguez on the skin utilizing his jab and fast combos to construct off of his virtuoso shutout determination over Calvin Kattar in January, which set a number of UFC data for hanging and may go down as essentially the most spectacular efficiency of Holloway’s surefire Corridor-of-Fame profession.  

Whereas Rodriguez is a lot harmful sufficient to win this battle by stoppage if Holloway is not cautious, it is arduous to think about he is expert or affected person sufficient to defeat the previous champion over the five-round distance ought to it lengthen that far. For every thing Holloway has achieved, he is nonetheless on the fitting aspect of 30 and is recent off among the greatest work of his profession, together with in his disputed determination loss to Volkanovski of their 2020 rematch. 

Choose: Holloway by way of UD5 



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