A significant roadblock stands between Marina Rodriguez and potential title contention in the Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s strawweight division.
The once-beaten Brazilian will collide with Michelle Waterson in the UFC on ESPN 24 headliner this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, where she looks to continue her climb on the 115-pound ladder. Rodriguez has pieced together a 3-1-2 record in six appearances since joining the UFC roster in 2018. She last fought at UFC 257 on Jan. 23, when she brought down Amanda Ribas with a second-round elbow strike and follow-up punches. Waterson, meanwhile, has won four of her past six bouts. She last competed at UFC Fight Night 177, where she eked out a split decision over Angela Hill in their Sept. 12 main event.
As UFC on ESPN “Rodriguez vs. Waterson” approaches, a look at some of the numbers the fighters on the card have generated to this point:
2: Draws on the Rodriguez ledger. She fought Randa Markos to a majority draw in her UFC Fight Night 137 promotional debut on Sept. 22, 2018 and battled Cynthia Calvillo to a majority draw in the UFC on ESPN 7 co-headliner on Dec. 7, 2019.
15: Seconds needed by Waterson to submit Rosary Califano with a flying armbar at an Extreme Beatdown event in 2010. It remains the fastest finish of her 26-fight career.
17: Donald Cerrone wins by submission, accounting for 47% of his career total (36). His methods of choice: eight triangle chokes, five rear-naked chokes and four armbars. Cerrone owns 10 other wins by knockout or technical knockout and nine more by decision. “Cowboy” draws Alex Morono in the co-main event.
3: Sub-minute stoppage victories on the Morono ledger. He submitted Jose Castro with an armbar in 21 seconds under the Triple A promotions banner on Dec. 2, 2010, dispatched Mark Garcia with an armbar in 41 seconds at Legacy Fighting Championship 5 on Jan. 29, 2011 and punched out Larry Hopkins in 44 seconds at a Fury Fighting Championship show on Oct. 24, 2014.
1,119: Significant strikes landed by Neil Magny as a UFC welterweight, placing him second on the promotion’s all-time list at 170 pounds. Only Georges St. Pierre has connected on more (1,254). Magny also ranks second in victories (17), second in total fight time (5:04:48), third in appearances (24), third in total strikes landed (1,931) and sixth in takedowns landed (50). The Elevation Fight Team representative confronts Geoff Neal in a three-round welterweight feature.
6: First-round finishes on the Neal resume, two of them having gone down inside the Octagon. He submitted Brian Camozzi with a rear-naked choke 2:48 into their UFC Fight Night 126 pairing on Feb. 18, 2018 and cut down Mike Perry with a head kick and follow-up punches 1:30 into their UFC 245 clash on Dec. 14, 2019.
13: Marcos Rogerio de Lima victories by knockout or technical knockout, accounting for 77% of his career total (17). His list of victims includes Ben Sosoli, Jeremy Kimball, Igor Pokrajac and Richardson Moreira. Rogerio de Lima owns three other victories by submission and two more by decision. “Pezao” faces Maurice Greene in a three-round heavyweight showcase.
80: Inches of reach for Greene, who stands 6-foot-7. He will have a five-inch reach and seven-inch height advantage against Rogerio de Lima.
5: Countries in which Diego Ferreira has competed as a professional mixed martial artist. The Fortis MMA lightweight has gone 14-2 in the United States, 1-0 in Canada, 1-0 in the Czech Republic, 1-0 in the United Arab Emirates and 0-1 in Brazil. Ferreira toes the line against Gregor Gillespie in his latest assignment.
23: Takedowns completed by Gillespie through his first seven appearances in the UFC. He was a four-time NCAA All-American wrestler at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, where he compiled a 152-13 career record and won a national championship in 2007.
4: Promotions in which the aforementioned Ribas has competed during her 10-fight run as a professional mixed martial artist. She has gone 4-1 in the UFC, 3-0 in Pentagon Combat, 2-1 in Jungle Fight and 1-0 in Max Fight. Ribas takes on Hill in a three-round encounter between Top 15 women’s strawweights.
7: Strawweight champions, including Hill, in Invicta Fighting Championships history. Carla Esparza, Katja Kankaanpaa, Livinha Souza, Virna Jandiroba, Brianna Van Buren and Kanako Murata are the others. Hill spent 274 days as champion, successfully defending the title on one occasion before vacating the throne to re-sign with the UFC.
39: Years of age for Ben Rothwell. The oldest fighter on the card, he was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Oct. 17, 1981. Rothwell meets Philipe Lins in the featured heavyweight prelim.
26: Years of age for Ludovit Klein. The youngest fighter on the card, he was born Feb. 22, 1995 in Nove Zamky, Slovakia. Klein puts his eight-fight winning streak on the line against Michael Trizano on the undercard.
.747: Cumulative winning percentage between the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event. They own a combined record of 357-118-3. Rothwell owns the most victories (38) of anyone on the card, while Cerrone has been saddled with the most losses (15).
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