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Submission specialist Preston Parsons is about to join the ranks of the Ultimate Fighting Championship on short notice.
Welterweight Daniel Rodriguez (14-2) announced on an Instagram story on Wednesday that his opponent Abubakar Nurmagomedov was forced out of their July 17 contest. On Thursday night, MMA Island was the first to report that Nurmagomedov’s replacement would be the newcomer Parsons (9-2). The promotion confirmed this booking on Friday, with the 170-pound bout taking place on UFC on ESPN 26 inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Parsons makes his way to the UFC with a 100 percent career submission rate, and his two defeats also came by stoppage. No pro fight for the Jacksonville Beach, Fla., resident has ever gone past the 4:26 mark of the second frame, win or lose. Four tapouts on Combat Night Pro events from 2019 to 2021 gave rise to Parsons getting the late notice callup to the big leagues. His last time out, he submitted Jeff Peterson with an armbar in the second round, making it the first time he had ever recorded a win outside of Round 1.
The stoppage rate for “D-Rod” is lower than his opponent, at 79 percent, but the Californian has never been finished as a pro. A victorious showing over Rico Farrington on the third season of Dana White's Contender Series did not net him a contract, although a clobbering of the 15-26 Quinton McCottrell punched his ticket into a match with Tim Means in February 2020. Rodriguez tapped Means in the second round, and in five fights inside the Octagon, he has lost once. Most recently, the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu fighter won a decision over Mike Perry in April.
The UFC on ESPN 26 event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas carries on with 12 fights, with a significant lightweight clash between Islam Makhachev and Thiago Moises serving as the top billing. The co-main event sees Miesha Tate make her return at bantamweight after a retirement and a four-year layoff against Marion Reneau, while Jeremy Stephens takes on Mateusz Gamrot at lightweight on the main card as well.
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