A pivotal featherweight main event between two-time division title challenger, the #2 ranked contender, Brian Ortega, and the #3 ranked striker, Yair Rodriguez is currently in the works to serve as a headlining bout at UFC on ESPN+ 68 on July 16. At the time of publication, an official location or venue for the promotion’s summer event has yet to be determined.
Brian Ortega, a native of Los Angeles, California – headlined UFC 266 back in September against current undisputed featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski – suffering a back-and-forth unanimous decision loss.
For Chihuahua-born striker, Rodriguez, the Mexican striker headlined UFC Vegas 42 against common-foe, former featherweight kingpin, Max Holloway in November of last year, suffering a unanimous decision loss in a Fight of the Night effort. ESPN Deportes reporter, Carlos Contreras Legaspi was first to report the July targeted main event between Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez.
Brian Ortega has twice challenged for UFC gold
15-2(1) as a professional, Ortega’s sole other professional loss came in the form of a one-sided unanimous judging to then-featherweight titleholder, the above mentioned, Holloway at UFC 231 in December 2018.
Returning from that loss against another common-opponent, Ortega turned in an impressive striking display en route to a unanimous decision win over Chan Sung Jung at UFC Fight Island 6 in October of 2020.
In other promotional victories, Ortega has defeated former undisputed lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson, Renato Moicano, Clay Guida, and Diego Brandao.
Yair Rodriguez landed six straight wins to kick start his UFC career
13-3(1) as a professional, Rodriguez, who has landed four career knockouts to go with a trio of submission victories, began his Octagon tenure with six consecutive victories.
The 29-year-old most recently defeated now-promotional alum, Jeremy Stephens in a UFC Fight Night Boston rematch, adding to prior wins over the aforenoted, Jung, Dan Hooker, Andre Fili, Alex Caceres, and a one-sided win over former two-weight champion, B.J. Penn.