UFC news, rumours: Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez to headline Fight Night, Paddy Pimblett’s return on tap

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Brian Ortega and Paddy Pimblett are locked in for UFC fights this summer. Ortega and Pimblett are two popular UFC athletes with a knack for putting together exciting fights.

The UFC announced that Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez and Pimblett vs. Jordan Leavitt are scheduled for UFC Fight Nights on consecutive weekends in July. Ortega and Rodriguez will headline UFC Fight Night on Long Island on July 16 while Pimblett and Leavitt will fight on the UFC London undercard: Curtis Blaydes vs. Tom Aspinall on July 23. These are two fights at different stages of the UFC ladder, but both offer something valuable to fans and the promotion.

Ortega vs. Rodriguez could set the next UFC featherweight title challenger, especially if Rodriguez wins. Ortega is emerging as a Fight of the Year contender against Alexander Volkanovski for the featherweight title. Rodriguez is coming off a very competitive loss to former champion Max Holloway in November. The top-ranked Featherweights will compete for over five rounds. Ortega (15-2, 1 NC) has some serious striking chops but wields a deadly jiu-jitsu advantage against Rodriguez (13-3, 1 NC), one of the most dynamic forwards in the UFC.

Pimblett vs. Leavitt is a significant step up in competition for “Paddy the Baddy,” one of the hottest UFC signings in recent memory. Pimblett was successful in his first two UFC fights by overcoming adversity. Pimblett’s (18-3) personality is contagious and he’s undefeated in the Octagon so far, but critics are skeptical of his cap. Leavitt is a solid step up in competition, winning three of his four UFC appearances, including a knockout of veteran Matt Wiman and an inverted triangle choke submission over Matt Sayles.

More UFC News, Rumors

  • Thiago Santos vs. Jamahal Hill takes center stage at the UFC Fight Night event on August 6. The promotion confirmed the fight headlines Friday. Santos, who nearly upset Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship in 2019, has been on a tough 1-3 streak since that fight. Hill is moving in the opposite direction, going 4-1 with a no contest since his UFC debut in 2020.
  • Tito Ortiz wants one last shot at the UFC against another legend and former light heavyweight champion. Ortiz recently said Helen Yee that he would like to book his UFC retirement fight against Shogun Rua. “It’s never over and I think I made that mistake with the UFC when I said I would never fight for the UFC again. And now I think about it, it’s going to be one last fight amazing for me and for Shogun Rua,” Ortiz said. “Shogun has his last fight with the UFC, we’re kind of around the same time, so it would be nice to see a Tito Ortiz against Shogun. I’d like that.”

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