This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 26, Marina Rodriguez (14-1-2) took on Michelle Waterson (18-9) in the main event. The fight came together on short-notice, but both of these ladies threw down for five minutes.
With a full camp, I really liked Marina Rodriguez in this matchup. She’s much bigger than Waterson with more powerful striking. However, I wasn’t sure how she would hold up under the short-notice circumstances.
Waterson just fought in a short-notice UFC main event back in September. That combined with her grappling ability, I thought she could pickup a decision. However, Marina Rodriguez looked sensational.
The two top ten strawweights both had their moments throughout the fight, but it was clear that Rodriguez was getting the better of the exchanges. Ultimately, all three judges gave the win at UFC Vegas 26 to Marina Rodriguez.
It’s a massive win for Rodriguez who has bounced back strong from her first UFC loss last July. Now, Rodriguez has won two in a row and she’s looking towards the top of the strawweight division.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 26?
After UFC Vegas 26, it’s time for Rodriguez to take the next step up in competition. Having won two fights in a row, Rodriguez is now 4-1-2 in her seven fights inside the octagon. However, she’s looking better every time she steps in there.
So who should the UFC pair her up with? Rodriguez and others have hinted at a potential matchup with former UFC champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4). Jedrzejczyk is looking to make her comeback soon and a matchup with Rodriguez does make sense given their standing.
Not too mention the fact that it would be an incredibly fun matchup stylistically. Another option that could be out there is Mackenzie Dern (11-1). Dern has been surging having won four fights in a row.
A matchup between Rodriguez and Dern could present the UFC’s strawweight division with a fresh title contender. Either one of these ladies would be a perfect next opponent for Marina Rodriguez.