- Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson step up on just a few days notice to headline the UFC Vegas 26 card
- The fight will take place up a weight class at flyweight due to the short notice
- See the odds, picks, and betting preview for the full UFC Vegas 26 main card, below
The UFC remains at the UFC Apex on Saturday, May 8 for UFC Vegas 26, before they head back on the road next week for a stacked UFC 262 card in front of a sold-out crowd in Houston. In the main event, two top 15 strawweights, Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson step up on less than two week’s notice to headline the card and will do so at flyweight.
The co-main event sees top-15 welterweights collide as Neil Magny and Geoff Neal look to get back into the win column in a pivotal matchup. UFC Vegas 26 main card airs live on ESPN at 8 PM EST. The table below shows odds for the main card at DraftKings followed by best bets.
UFC Vegas 26 Odds
|Fighter||Odds at DraftKings|
All odds as of May 4
|Bonus: Up to $1,050 Free!||Learn More|
|Bonus: $1,000 Risk-Free Bet||Learn More|
|Bonus: $600 Risk-Free Bet||Learn More|
Can Waterson Win Back-to-Back Main Events?
TJ Dillashaw was supposed to make his return after a two-year suspension against Cory Sandhagen, but last week he pulled out of the fight due to a nasty cut above his eye. Shortly after that, it was rumored that Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson would headline the card, and Waterson confirmed the news to SBD and also revealed it would take the place at flyweight.
Rodriguez & Waterson Recent Fights
|Amanda Ribas, win by KO||Fight 1||Angela Hill, win by split decision|
|Carla Esparza, loss by split decision||Fight 2||Carla Esparza, loss by split decision|
|Cynthia Calvillo, draw||Fight 3||Joanna Jedrzejczyk, loss by decision|
|Tecia Torres, win by decision||Fight 4||Karolina Kowalkiewicz, win by decision|
Rodriguez will headline her first UFC carer after picking up a massive KO win over Amanda Ribas at UFC 257 in January. Waterson, meanwhile, will headline her fourth UFC card, and it will be her second in a row after she and Hill were promoted to the main event on short notice last September.
Although the fight is on short notice, this should be a really fun fight as both Rodriguez and Waterson are strikers. Waterson’s last fight was the Fight of the Night, as she is very technical and can pick people apart while Rodriguez has legit fight-ending power.
Rodriguez & Waterson Stats
Throughout Rodriguez’s UFC career, she has struggled with grapplers. Against Calvillo and Esparza, they were able to take her down and hold her there and do some significant damage. However, on the feet, she is excellent and will pose a ton of problems for Waterson.
Although Waterson is known for her striking, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her try and wrestle more. Rodriguez has never gone five rounds before. If Waterson can bring it into the later rounds, she can have a lot of success, however, I think Rodriguez’s striking is too good, and she will be able to land the better and more powerful shots and likely win a decision.
Pick: Marina Rodriguez (-210)
Who Gets Back Into the Win Column?
Neil Magny and Geoff Neal were booked to fight last August, but Neal was forced out of the bout due to a sickness that forced him to go into the hospital for a few days where he even said he thought he was going to die.
Magny & Neal Recent Fights
|Michael Chiesa, loss by decision||Fight 1||Stephen Thompson, loss by decision|
|Robbie Lawler, win by decision||Fight 2||Mike Perry, win by KO|
|Anthony Rocco Martin, win by decision||Fight 3||Niko Price, win by TKO|
|Li Jingliang, win by decision||Fight 4||Belal Muhammad, win by decision|
This is an excellent matchup as both men look to get back into the win column after losing their respective main events last time out.
After returning from suspension, Magny picked up three straight wins before the loss to Chiesa where he was out grappled for five rounds. His chin also looked much better, but against a power puncher in Neal, the way he keeps his hands down is worrying.
Ultimately, in a three-round fight, I favor Neal to find Magny’s chin and get a TKO win in the first or second round as he should be able to close the distance and land something big.
Pick: Geoff Neal (-190)
Other UFC Vegas 26 Picks:
- Amanda Ribas (-177): Ribas will need to get this fight to the ground to have success, which I expect she will and will either get a submission or clear-cut decision. -177 in the UFC Vegas 26 odds is a little high, given Ribas’ chin is a worry for me because Hill could connect and TKO her.
- Gregor Gillespie (-190): Gillespie should be able to take Ferreira down and control him to win a clear-cut decision.
- Kyle Daukaus (-141): If Daukaus survives the first round, he’ll be able to take Hawes down at will and control him on the ground and win a decision or get a late ground and pound finish.
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