UFC Vegas 26 is the next event on the MMA company’s schedule. It’ll take place on Saturday, May 8 from the UFC’s Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Up until Tuesday, a main event wasn’t set in stone. T.J. Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen were expected to have that spot, but the former had to withdraw from the fight last week after sustaining a headbutt injury while training.
However, officials decided that the women’s flyweight matchup between Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez would headline UFC Vegas 26.
The bout should be a good one as the duo have yet to clash before. With that being said, BetOnline has released their UFC Vegas 26 odds, including ones for the main event. They’re favoring Rodriguez to defeat Waterson at -210 odds, with it looking like the fight will go the distance.
UFC Vegas Odds: Marina Rodriguez (13-1-2) vs. Michelle Waterson (18-8-0)
Odds via BetOnline as of Wednesday, May 5
- Rodriguez (-210) vs. Waterson +180)
- Total rounds: 4.5 — Over (-225), Under (+185)
UFC Vegas Odds: Rodriguez Favored to Win
It’s no surprise that Rodriguez is entering the UFC Vegas 26 bout as the favorite. She’s only been defeated once in her MMA career, which was a loss (via split decision) back in July 2020 to Carla Esparza. Since then, Rodriguez defeated Amanda Ribas at UFC 257 in January. The upset victory also earned her Performance of the Night honors.
Rodriguez is versatile in the sense that she can both knock out her opponents and outlast them. Of her 13 victories, six have come via KO/TKO while the same amount has come from winning by decision. If her fight does go for all five rounds at UFC Vegas as BetOnline is projecting, things could bode well for the 34-year-old Brazilian.
To make things more impressive, Rodriguez has lands 4.86 significant strikes per minute on 50% accuracy. This could spell out trouble for Waterson, who is used to absorbing 4.00 strikes per minute. If Rodriguez can break her opponent down and take advantage when she’s tired, we might see another victory added to her record.
Can Waterson Score the Upset?
It’s hard not to be the underdog against someone as dominant as Rodriguez, but Waterson won’t let that stop her from trying. The 14-year MMA veteran may be entering the bout having lost four of her last eight fights, but she recently picked up an impressive split decision victory against Angela Hill back in September. Their clash was named Fight of the Night, so Waterson will hope to ride that momentum in UFC Vegas 26 this week.
She’s shown in the past that she’s capable of upsetting superior fighters, so it might not be wise to count Waterson out yet. Of her 18 MMA victories, nine have been via submission. Six more of her victories have come by decision, so she should be able to keep up with Rodriguez if that’s the route she wants to go down.
At the end of the day, Waterson may be the underdog, but she’s just as versatile as Rodriguez and capable of holding her own. Even if the odds aren’t in her favor, don’t count her out until the fight is officially over.