TJ Dillashaw was scheduled to return this Saturday, at UFC Las Vegas 26, following his two-year doping sanction (he hasn’t fought since January 2019). He was champion at the time he took banned substances (he had the rooster belt and tested positive in the fight he lost to Cejudo, in the fly) and people want to see him in action again. They will have to wait, since the American suffered a cut on his eyelid in training last week. He would not face Cory Sandhagen, for now, and the UFC was without a main event.
The company’s reaction is usually almost immediate on these kinds of problems … but not this time. He waited until Tuesday to confirm the new fight that would close the night. Marina Rodríguez and Michelle Waterson have been chosen. The UFC had it decided, but waited for Rodríguez to solve some logistical problems, as revealed by Ariel Helwani (ESPN), to make it official. There were other fights with possibilities of being stellar like Geoff Neil vs Neil Magny, Carlos Diego Ferreira vs Gregor Gillespie or Donald Cerrone vs Alex Morono, but the company preferred the female duel.
The lawsuit was signed 11 days in advance, for that reason both will meet on the scale with the Moscow limita, but both are in the top ten for strawweight. Rodriguez is sixth and Waterson is ninth. Both come with a similar dynamic: a victory (in their last fight) in their last three fights. Therefore, they know that the victory would be necessary to continue growing and start looking at the title. In betting, the favorite is the Brazilian, by ranking, by career and quality on paper. The lawsuit provides for a duel of styles. Rodriguez handles better on strinking and Waterson on the floor. The one that manages to dominate will have a lot of cattle.