Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens is set for the Sept. 21 card in Mexico City, according to multiple sources.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 26, 2019
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The Ultimate Fighting Championship has a barnburner of a main event in store for its return to Mexico City in September.
On Friday, ESPN announced that Yair Rodriguez (11-2) would face off against Jeremy Stephens (28-16) in the headlining attraction of UFC Fight Night 159, which takes place on Sept. 21 at the Mexico City Arena in Mexico City. Earlier this month at the UFC Summer Press Conference, UFC President Dana White expressed that Rodriguez would fight on this card, and also that Brian Ortega would be competing at the same event against a to-be-announced opponent.
Rodriguez engaged in an incredible "Fight of the Night"-winning war with Chan Sung Jung in his last time out, scoring Sherdog.com's 2018 Knockout of the Year when he finished Jung with a no-look elbow with one second remaining. Winner of "The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America" at featherweight, Rodriguez has earned five post-fight bonuses in his last five fights. Across eight appearances inside the Octagon, Rodriguez's lone blemish came at the hands of current featherweight title challenger Frankie Edgar.
Stephens has dropped his last two against Jose Aldo and Zabit Magomedsharipov, although prior to those defeats he scored three post-fight bonus-winning victories over Gilbert Melendez, Doo Ho Choi and Josh Emmett. With this main event bout, "Lil Heathen" will become the third fighter in company history to fight more than 30 times in the UFC cage. Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone were the first two to accomplish this feat, and oddly enough Cerrone has beaten both Miller and Stephens.
UFC Fight Night 159 will take place on Sept. 21 at the Mexico City Arena in Mexico City. Also appearing on the card will be a pivotal strawweight tilt between Carla Esparza and Alexa Grasso, and at flyweight Brandon Moreno will meet Askar Askarov.