MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Yair Rodriguez Released By UFC, Other Bouts Added To UFC 227
Yair Rodriguez Cut By UFC
The UFC have officially released Yair Rodriguez, according to Lance Pugmire via UFC president Dana White. According to White, the UFC cut Rodriguez after refusing to fight either Zabit Magomedsharipov or Ricardo Lamas at UFC 227. It was reported earlier this week that Rodriguez was set to fight Magomedsharipov, but it appears that report was, in Rodriguez' words, "#fakenews." Rodriguez (10-2) was 6-1 in the UFC and was looking like a future featherweight title contender before losing to Frankie Edgar at UFC 211. He is only 25 so still has tons of time to improve, and I would expect Bellator and Combate Americas to make a run for him. It's a shame the UFC cut Rodriguez, but we all know White doesn't like when fighters turn down fights. With Rodriguez off the card, I wonder who Magomedsharipov will fight now.
With no more Rodriguez vs. Magomedsharipov bout on the card, UFC 227 needed to be beefered up, and a trio of new bouts had been added to the card, which goes down Saturday, August 4 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The three bouts were revealed by Brian Martin of The Press-Enterprise, and here they are below along with my thoughts on them.
JJ Aldrich vs. Polyana Viana, UFC 227
A women's strawweight pairing will see JJ Aldrich take on Polyana Viana. Aldrich (6-2) is 2-1 in the UFC and has won back-to-back fights including a decision win over Danielle Taylor in her last matchup. Viana (10-1) is 1-0 in the UFC and defeated Maia Stevenson in her UFC debut. This should be a pretty competitive fight but Viana has looked much more impressive as of late and should probably be a slight favorite in this one. The fact she has 10 finishes when Aldrich is mostly a decision type of fighter makes me like Viana even more.
Danielle Taylor vs. Weili Zhang, UFC 227
Another pair of women's strawweights meet as Danielle Taylor takes on UFC newcomer Weili Zhang. Taylor (9-3) is 2-2 in the UFC and lost a decision to JJ Aldrich in her last bout. While she entered the UFC off of two-straight knockouts, since coming to the UFC she has been mostly a decision type of fighter who has put on really boring fights. Zhang (16-1) lost her MMA debut in 2013 but since then has won all of her bouts, including going a perfect 7-0 in 2017. I don't think Taylor is a very good fighter by any means, but she does know what it takes to win a decision. While Zhang has a good record, she has mostly been fighting bad fighters. I'd expect a close line but probably with a slight lean towards Taylor due to her UFC experience.
Wuliji Buren vs. Bharat Khandare, UFC 227
A featherweight bout will pit Wuliji Buren against Bharat Khandare. Buren (9-4) is 0-1 in the UFC with a decision loss to Rolando Dy in his UFC debut. Khandare (5-3) is 0-1 in the UFC with a submission loss to Yadong Song in his UFC debut. Your guess is as good as mine for this one as both guys really don't have any place in the UFC. I guess I'd lean towards Buren just slightly, but I don't expect either fighter to stick around the UFC for too much longer.
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Mixed martial arts journalist. Lead writer for MMAOddsbreaker.com and also featured at @MMARatingsNet, @mmanews_com and @fightodds_io.
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