- BetOnline has former UFC champion Max Holloway as a heavy favorite over Yair Rodriguez
- Holloway is looking to get back to a title shot against UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski
- Rodriguez is on a three-fight unbeaten streak
The UFC is back in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex for UFC Vegas 42. In the main event, former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway looks to get his second straight win after losing two fights to now UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski. Holloway is coming off a one-sided shellacking of Calvin Kattar in January.
Yair Rodriguez has not fought since October 2019. The UFC is not giving the No. 3 ranked featherweight an easy return fight against Holloway, who has only lots in title fights over the past seven years, dropping two fights to Volkanovski and a lightweight title scrap against Dustin Poirier.
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Holloway vs. Rodriguez prediction and pick
This fight was initially booked for July, but a Holloway injury caused the bout to be postponed. That the UFC did not find a different opponent for Rodriguez tells you the promotion really wanted to see this fight happen. And why not? It has the makings of a potential “fight of the year.”
Judging by the statistics, this matchup should be an all-action stand-up affair. Holloway is second in UFC featherweight history in significant strikes landed per minute with 7.18, while Rodriguez lands at a respectable rate of 4.33. I would not be surprised to see this fight land in the top-10 in significant strikes attempted and landed in the 145-pound division.
While the fight will be exciting and feature a high number of strike attempts, I expect Holloway to be the clear winner in this matchup. Holloway, who does not turn 30 until December 4, is already the leading striker in UFC history, with 2,805 total strikes landed, which is nearly 500 more than the next highest active fighter. Holloway gets his wins through volume and effective striking, he breaks fighters. As an example, he landed 447 of 746 attempted strikes in his win over Kattar. The second highest total strikes attempted in one fight was Colby Covington’s 541 against Robbie Lawler.
I think Rodriguez will have some success, but Holloway’s will break him over time with sheer volume and that will earn the former champ the win.
Pick: Holloway -600 via Sportsbetting
Betting value with Holloway
As the odds indicate, Holloway is a significant favorite. The play on the former champ that makes sense as far as value is concerned is the over on rounds and the method of finish. I think the fight goes past the mid-point of the third round and that the end will come via knockout in favor of Holloway.
Prediction: Holloway via knockout -575 via Bovada
Who has the edge?
Rodriguez is the No. 3 ranked fighter in the UFC featherweight division and he earned that ranking. He is an excellent fighter, but Holloway is, without question, better than Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s best chance to win this fight is to land body kicks in the early going and hope that one of those blows will shut down Holloway. The odds of that happening are slim. Holloway has never been stopped via strikes.
Holloway to win -600 via Betonline
Fight Stats: Holloway vs. Rodriguez
|Max Holloway||Category||Yair Rodriguez|
|7.26||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||4.33|
|4.58||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||3.13|
|0.21||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||0.90|
|0.30||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.9|
What’s at stake?
It won’t be a surprise to see the winner of this bout get the next shot at UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
Rodriguez to win +375 via BetUS.
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