Michelle Waterson-Marina Rodriguez Flyweight Headliner Official for UFC on ESPN 24

By: Tristen Critchfield
May 4, 2021

A previously rumored flyweight clash between Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez is now official as the main event for UFC on ESPN 24.

The Las Vegas-based promotion formally announced the bout on Tuesday. The fight will be five rounds like a normal UFC main event, but both Waterson and Rodriguez will be competing a division above their normal weight class. The card lost its originally scheduled headliner between T.J. Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen when Dillashaw was forced to pull out of the contest after suffering a cut in training.

UFC on ESPN 24 takes place on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and will see Donald Cerrone square off against Alex Morono in the evening’s co-headliner. The main card airs on ESPN and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT following prelims on ESPN+ at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT.

Waterson is coming off a previous appearance in which her fight was elevated to main-event status on short notice. In that bout, “The Karate Hottie” halted a two-bout skid with a five-round verdict over Angela Hill at UFC Fight Night 177 this past September.

Rodriguez earned a significant triumph at UFC 257, where she stopped highly-touted prospect Amanda Ribas via TKO 54 seconds into Round 2 of their Jan. 23 matchup. The Brazilian striker also owns notable wins over Tecia Torres and former World Series of Fighting champ Jessica Aguilar during her Octagon tenure.

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