UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs. Waterson Preview

UFC Vegas 26 will go down this Saturday night at the UFC APEX in LAs Vegas. Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson will throw down in the women’s flyweight division. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone takes on Alex Morono in the co-main event.

Marina Rodriguez (13-1-2) looked a real handful in her last fight when she took out Amanda Ribas in round two. The Brazilian showcased some fantastic boxing when she picked up her first UFC finish. That win lined her up for what could be her stiffest test to date when she steps in against Michelle Waterson (18-8) in the main event.

Waterson got back to winning ways in her last fight after dropping a decision in her two previous fights against Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Carla Esparza. “The Karate Hottie” just got past Angela Hill by split decision and now she shares the spotlight in the main event with Rodriguez. I feel this fight will play out mainly on the feet and I’m excited to see how Waterson handles the boxing and reach advantage that her Brazilian opponent possesses. I think we could be in for a fight that will go all the way and I feel Marina Rodriguez has enough in her arsenal to get the job done.

UFC veteran Donald Cerrone (36-15) returns in the co-main event. “Cowboy” is without a win in his last 5 fights, he will be eager to get back into the win column for the first time since 2019. Alex Morono will have ideas of his own, he lost his last outing to Anthony Pettis. Before that fight he beat Rhys McKee to a decision. Morono always brings the heat and loves to plough forward and is alway in exciting fights. Cowboy will happily welcome that, and I expect these guys to come out swinging.

Geoff Neal (13-3) returns after his first UFC defeat against Stephen Thompson. Neal faces off against Neil Magny (24-8) in what is a classic striker vs. grappler bout. Neal will be hungry after his last loss, and I expect him to come out firing all all cylinders. Magny is as tough and as durable as they come but against Neal I think he will be lucky to hear the final bell.

Marcos Rogério de Lima (17-7-1) and Maurice Greene (9-5) will go to battle on the main card in the heavyweight division. Gregor Gillespie (13-1) will compete for the first time since his devastating knockout loss to Kevin Lee. His opponent Diego Ferreira also tasted defeat against Beneil Dariush in his last outing. Both lightweights will be hungry to get their hands raised and this has fight of the night potential. Amanda Ribas and Angela Hill will open the main card in a fight. I think Hill has enough to keep this fight standing and win this fight. I am looking forward to seeing if Ribas can rise to the occasion.

Ben Rothwell’s (38-13) fight with Philipe Lins, and the middleweight encounter between Phil Hawes (10-2) and Kyle Daukaus (10-2) are the fights that stand out on the prelims section. Check out the official fight card below. All the action will be broadcast on BT Sports and you can stream the event on ESPN+.

Main Card (BT Sports/ESPN+, 8pm ET)

Women’s Flyweight: Marina Rodriguez vs. Michelle Waterson
Welterweight: Donald Cerrone vs. Alex Morono
Welterweight: Neil Magny vs. Geoff Neal
Heavyweight: Marcos Rogério de Lima vs. Maurice Greene
Lightweight: Diego Ferreira vs. Gregor Gillespie
Women’s Strawweight: Amanda Ribas vs. Angela Hill


Preliminary Card (BT Sports/ESPN+, 5pm ET)


Heavyweight: Ben Rothwell vs. Philipe Lins
Middleweight: Phil Hawes vs. Kyle Daukaus
Featherweight: Ľudovít Klein vs. Michael Trizano
Flyweight: Ryan Benoit vs. Zarrukh Adashev
Middleweight: Jun Yong Park vs. Tafon Nchukwi
Welterweight: Christian Aguilera vs. Carlston Harris

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.