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UFC Vegas 42: Max Holloway fends off gritty Yair Rodriguez

Yair Rodriguez heroically threw the kitchen sink at Max Holloway at UFC Vegas 42, but it wasn’t enough.

Holloway absorbed everything Rodriguez dished out and delivered more of his own en route to a 49-46, 48-47, 48-47 unanimous decision victory at the UFC Apex Saturday afternoon.

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Rodriguez was returning after a 25-month absence and any semblance of ring rust disappeared in the first round, going to work early with leg kicks and strikes to try and stake some starch out of “Blessed.”

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But Holloway returned the favour, landing a flying knee to the body in the third round. Rodriguez fought through arm-triangle and standing guillotine submission attempts, but emerged into the fourth round with battle wounds under his eyes. Rodriguez was fatigued, but still willing, as indicated by the flying knee attempt below.

Buoyed by the action, Holloway used his cardio to ramp up the volume, pressuring Rodriguez and avoiding some impressive attacks until the final bell.

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With the win, Holloway (23-6-0) recorded his second consecutive win and defended his current No. 1 ranking in the division.

Rodriguez likely gained some respect with his spirited performance and may not drop too far his current No. 3 ranking.

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Holloway and Rodriguez earned Fight of the Night, while Andrea Lee and Chaos Williams earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.

In case you missed the prelims:

DA UN JONG DEF. KENNEDY NZECHUKWU VIA KO (ELBOWS) R1 3:04

RAFAEL ALVES DEF. MARC DIAKIESE VIA SUBMISSION (GUILLOTINE CHOKE) R1 1:48

CORTNEY CASEY DEF. LIANA JOJUA VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

SEAN WOODSON DEF. COLIN ANGLIN VIA TKO (PUNCHES TO BODY) R1 4:30

ANDREA LEE DEF. CYNTHIA CALVILLO VIA TKO (CORNER STOPPAGE) R2 5:00

JOEL ALVAREZ DEF. THIAGO MOISES VIA TKO (ELBOWS AND PUNCHES) R1 3:01

MAIN CARD 

SONG YADONG  VS. JULIO ARCE 

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1459632775338807304?s=20

WINNER: SONG YADONG VIA TKO (STRIKES) R2 1:35

ANDREWS PREDICTION: SONG YADONG VIA UD

Andrews: Wow! That was impressive.

MIGUEL BAEZA VS. CHAOS WILLIAMS 

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WINNER: KHAOS WILLIAMS VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R3 1:02

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MIGUEL BAEZA VIA TKO 

Andrews: Tough luck for Baeza. This one was not going to go the distance and great striking by Khaos to get the finish.

FELICIA SPENCER VS. LEAH LETSON 

WINNER: FELICIA SPENCER VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R3 4:25

ANDREWS PREDICTION: FELICIA SPENCER VIA UD

Andrews: Good win for Felicia.

BEN ROTHWELL VS. MARCOS ROGERIO DE LIMA 

WINNER: MARCOS ROGERIO DE LIMA VIA TKO (STRIKES) R1 0:32

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MARCOS ROGERIO DE LIMA VIA TKO

Andrews: What took him so long? De Lima probably looked at Rothwell as a big target.

MAIN EVENT

#1 MAX HOLLOWAY VS. #3 YAIR RODRIGUEZ 

WINNER: MAX HOLLOWAY VIA UD (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MAX HOLLOWAY VIA UD

Andrews: Great performances by both fighters. Rodriguez has proven again that he can fight with the best of them.

The next UFC event is UFC Vegas 43, which is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. In the main event, No. 7 women’s bantamweight Ketlen Viera takes on former champion  and No. 8 Miesha Tate.

@kenaiandrews

KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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