We are back this weekend with another fun UFC fight night card. UFC Vegas 42: Holloway vs. Rodriguez goes down at the Apex in Las Vegas and there are 12 fights in store for the fans. Before the event takes place, be sure to read our full main card preview for UFC Vegas 42.
Main event featherweight bout (five rounds): Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodriguez
Holloway is the No. 1 contender in the UFC featherweight division and the former champion. The Hawaii native has been one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport for many years now, having beaten notable names like Jose Aldo, Calvin Kattar, and Charles Oliviera, just to name a few. Holloway is an amazing striker who pours on the pressure and does more damage with anyone. Many people think he beat UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in their rematch, and he will get the trilogy if he beats Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is the No. 3 contender in the UFC featherweight division. A former winner of TUF Latin America, Rodriguez has put together a fantastic UFC career with an 8-1, 1 NC overall record in the promotion. He has fought and defeated some notable fighters including Chan Sung Jung, BJ Penn, and Dan Hooker. Rodriguez is an awesome striker with explosive KO power but the biggest problem is he rarely fights. He hasn’t fought in two years and it’s hard to say what he will look like here against Holloway after such a long layoff in his career.
Total rounds (4.5) Over -125 vs. Under -105
The total rounds for this fight have been set at 4.5 and the odds are essentially a coin flip either way. Personally, I would lean under in this fight. Both men have a ton of finishing ability first off, but most of all, I just don’t see Rodriguez being able to make it 25 minutes with Holloway. I’m banking on a stoppage in this fight and believe there’s value on the under.
Overall this should be an exciting main event at UFC Vegas 42 but you’re crazy to pick against Holloway. He has been looking amazing lately and he is going to go out there against Rodriguez and show why he’s the uncrowned champ. With the fight being set for 25 minutes, I see Rodriguez struggling to stay in the fight that long. I think Holloway pours on the punches and eventually forces a ref or doctor stoppage in the third round or later of the fight.
The co-main event of UFC Vegas 42 is a heavyweight bout between Ben Rothwell and Marcos Rogerio de Lima. Rothwell is coming off of an impressive submission win over Chris Barnett. Overall he has won three of his last four fights and looks in top form at age 40. Rothwell is one of the most experienced heavyweights in the UFC, he’s one of the biggest heavyweights, he has power, an iron chin, and he has the ability to also submit his foes.
De Lima has been in the UFC since 2014 and has basically traded wins and losses for nearly his entire career. The Brazilian has some power on the feet and some grappling skills on the ground, but he also has terrible submission defense and he has been submitted five times in the UFC. De Lima also tends to fade in his fights, unlike Rothwell who always has a good gas tank. I think De Lima is going to struggle to finish Rothwell early, get tired, and then Rothwell takes over in the middleweight rounds. Eventually, I see Rothwell winning by sub.
A rare women’s featherweight contest features former title challenger Felicia Spencer against Leah Letson, who is fighting for the first time since 2018. Spencer is coming off of a decision loss to Norma Dumont in an upset which reflected poorly on her when it happened. But after Dumont beat Aspen Ladd, the loss doesn’t look as bad. Spencer also lost to Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes, but who doesn’t? The other opponents who she has fought she has destroyed, so Spencer is someone just below the top of the division. She’s a gatekeeper at 145.
Letson is a bit of a wild card because she hasn’t fought in three years, but there wasn’t a ton to like about her even when she did fight. Sure, she beat Julija Stoliarenko by decision, but that doesn’t mean much. There is always some chance that Letson has improved during her long layoff and emerges as a better fighter, but until I see that in play I can’t bank on it happening. I expect Spencer to grind on Letson with her wrestling and win a decision on the cards.
At middleweight, we have Kyle Daukaus fighting Roman Dolidze. Daukaus is coming off of a bizarre No Contest with Kevin Holland. In that fight, he knocked Holland down with an accidental clash of heads and then submitted him. It was overturned and the UFC booked the rematch for this card, but Holland fell off with an injury. Dolidze then stepped up on short notice. In some ways, this looks like an easier fight as Dolidze is an unranked fighter, but Daukaus will still need to be sharp. Just like against Holland, look for Daukaus to grapple.
Dolidze will happily oblige in the grappling department with Daukaus and I see that being a bad move for him. I just think he ends up on his back for most of the fight defending submissions and getting ground and pounded. I don’t know why Dolidze dropped down to 185lbs because he just doesn’t seem as effective in this weight class. Look for Daukaus to use his grappling to control where this fight takes place and grind out the decision victory.
Kicking off the main card is a bantamweight bout between two exciting strikers in Song Yadong and Julio Arce. Just 23 years old, Yadong already has a ton of UFC experience and he has fought a high level of competition during his career. In his last outing, Yadong got by Casey Kenney, and it was just last year that he defeated Marlon Vera. Yadong is super young and training under Urijah Faber, he is constantly improving every time he steps into the cage.
Arce is also a very good fighter who is 4-2 overall in the UFC. In his last fight, he dropped down to bantamweight and knocked out Andre Ewell in a very impressive performance. Arce is a good striker and should put up a good fight, but at age 32, I feel like we’ve seen the best that he can offer already. On the other hand, I think Yadong can continue to show more evolution in his game. Looking for a close fight that results in Yadong winning a decision.