After a litany of fight cancellations, UFC staple Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez were updated to the main event for a five-round fight.
While some were doubtful because they thought the cancelation of T.J. Dillashaw versus Cody Sandhagen would eclipse the strawweight battle (although both athletes weighed in at 125lbs) between Rodriguez and Waterson. However, that turned out to be the opposite, as both athletes gave it their maximum effort in a five-round back and forth. Prior to the main event going down, a spectacular fight at welterweight took place, albeit quick, the fight ended with Alex Morono taking the requisite step to higher-ranked opponents.
In particular, Morono was able to dominate Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The 30-year old Fortis MMA product handled Cerrone on the feet with a couple of wild right-hand haymakers. Initially, some thought that Morono was being sloppy and that eventually, Cowboy would be able to time his hooking right hands. The fight only lasted one round. Specifically, Morono didn’t take the pressure off of Cowboy, and he even managed to take the legend down. Following a right-hand finish, Morono let out an emphatic roar, as the young fighter really needed this win after coming up short against former champion Anthony Pettis last year.
Pros React To UFC Vegas 26 – Main Event
Despite the short-notice five-round fight, Rodriguez and Waterson put on a show. Without a doubt, “The Karate Hottie” highlighted why she’s been a top-ranked athlete with the UFC for so long. Waterson’s versatile kicks almost won her the fight, so if she can round out her hands a little more she will be incredibly difficult to overwhelm in the stand-up.
Additionally, Waterson showed her durability and slick striking. Overall, even though Waterson lost the fight, she still went home a winner. With a fight like that, and going five hard rounds, surely the promotion will be wanting her back in another main event slot sooner than later. Take a look at what the professionals on Twitter had to say following UFC Vegas 26.
Marina Rodriguez was relentless in the #UFCVegas26 main event 💯 pic.twitter.com/q0pMTDo45F
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 9, 2021
Very technical fight. Waterson is so tricky. Both looking good. #UFCVegas26
— Claudia Gadelha (@ClaudiaGadelha_) May 9, 2021
Damn that was brutal!
— Funky (@Benaskren) May 9, 2021
When Rodriguez learns to sit down a bit more on her punches and uses her legs to generate power instead of throwing arm punches, she’ll be significantly more dangerous than she already is.
— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) May 9, 2021
Hell of a main event with these two ladies @ufc
— Raquel Pennington (@RockyPMMA) May 9, 2021
Easy to throw a 6 strike combo when there’s no weight on anything and you miss everything but that last hit. Sorry im bitter I didn’t fight tonight 😩
— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) May 9, 2021
Back-and-forth fireworks between @wmmarz and @karatehottiemma 🎆 #UFCVegas26 pic.twitter.com/huMHJEt1JO
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 9, 2021
@karatehottiemma is so undersized but yet soo tough and such a gamer! Mad respect!
— Bryan Caraway (@BryanCaraway) May 9, 2021
👏 👏 @karatehottiemma @wmmarz pic.twitter.com/ZKD8xeE04B
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 9, 2021
What did you make of UFC Vegas 26, let us know what your favorite fight on the card was!