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Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez was expected to be a Fight of the Night or Fight of the Year candidate, but things did not unravel as expected. Rodriguez was awarded the first-round finish after Ortega suffered a shoulder injury in their main event clash at UFC Fight Night.
It was shaping up to be a fun fight for as long as it lasted. Ortega was relentless with forward pressure and Rodriguez was accurate with all sorts of strikes. Notably, Rodriguez landed a sublime left hand to knee to outside leg kick combination early in the round. Ortega leaned into his wrestling and secured a takedown after a failed first attempt. The fight reached its disappointing end when Rodriguez threw up his legs for a loose armbar attempt. Ortega pulled away with little effort, but he immediately fell back in pain and referee Keith Peterson intervened.
Yair ran straight to his corner after winning at #UFCLongIsland pic.twitter.com/NpiMmOjJgb
“It’s unfortunate that his shoulder dislocated. I already told him we could run it back,” Rodriguez said during his post-fight interview. “Of course, I want to fight for the title. I have tons of respect — if I said I didn’t have respect for the champ before, it’s because I didn’t know better. Of course, I have respect for the champ. He’s a f—ing beast.”
“Guys, I’m so f—ing sorry. I don’t know how this happened. I wanted to keep going but this thing came out. You can tell I’ve had two shoulder surgeries already. I might need a third, who knows?” Ortega said after the fight. “Yair. Congratulations. It is what it is. If you don’t get the title fight or whatever happens, I want to get it and let’s do it right. This is not the right way. Let’s do it right. I want us to both leave it in the cage because that’s what we came to do.”
Rodriguez improved to 14-3, 1 NC and bounced back from a loss to Max Holloway in his previous outing. He adds Ortega to a hit list that includes Chan Sung Jung, B.J. Penn, Dan Hooker and Jeremy Stephens.
Ortega (15-3, 1 NC) has now lost consecutive fights for the first time in his professional career. He is 2-3 dating back to 2018.
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CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Saturday bringing you all the results and highlights from the UFC Fight Night card.
One of the craziest battles we have seen this year, @Danger_Caged vs @Mudaerji_Su is your #UFCLongIsland Fight of the Night 💰
[ 1/6 | #UFCLongIsland | B2YB @ThorneHealth ] pic.twitter.com/vt0l2EmWRR
A man of the people 👏 #UFCLongIsland pic.twitter.com/8XHNvbnWc1
Would you want to see these two run it back? #UFCLongIsland pic.twitter.com/ilklK8QKin
The #UFCLongIsland main event ends in a 1st round TKO for @PanteraUFC following an unfortunate shoulder injury to Brian Ortega.
Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez — Round 1: Rodrigez was accurate early, catching Ortega on the jaw with jabs and crosses. A big left hand landed for Rodriguez, followed by a knee and outside leg kick. Ortega opened a cut under Rodriguez’s eye. Ortega snatched a body lock for half the round but failed to secure a takedown. Rodriguez twisted Ortega’s neck with a clean right hand but “T-City” ate it well. A front kick got through for Rodriguez. Ortega finally secured the takedown with one-minute left. Rodriguez went for an armbar, Ortega pulled his arm away and his shoulder popped out. That is the end of the fight. Official result: Yair Rodriguez def. Brian Ortega via TKO (injury), Round 1.
Incredible show of respect between these two before battle 🙌 #UFCLongIsland pic.twitter.com/4OR88GGOlG
Cool as the other side of the pillow 🥶
[ #UFCLongIsland LIVE on @ABCNetwork ] pic.twitter.com/gQ6Vvubtlk
Lemos locked up a guillotine and Waterson tapped on her back at #UFCLongIsland pic.twitter.com/VwNAp5ODeu
Only time remains between now and the main event: Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez.
Up next on @ABCNetwork – your #UFCLongIsland main event! 🍿 pic.twitter.com/EfndIIl9Ej
Insane fights tonight🤯 #UFCLongIsland
Bouncing back in a big way 💪 #UFCLongIsland pic.twitter.com/vDDVZybgzI
Michelle Waterson vs. Amanda Lemos — Round 2: Lemos landed a nice right hook that either caught Waterson on the head or chest. “The Karate Hottie” ducked a looping hand and shot for the takedown. Lemos leapt for an arm-in guillotine and it was tight! Waterson tapped on the opposite side of the referee and Lemos relinquished the hold. The referee was confused but Waterson confessed to submiting. Official result: Amanda Lemos def. Michelle Waterson via submission (guillotine choke), Round 2.
Amanda Lemos sinks in the second round submission! #UFCLongIsland pic.twitter.com/2ctDGjr4lB
Michelle Waterson vs. Amanda Lemos — Round 1: Waterson landed a nice front kick to the chest and brushed Lemos’ nose with a Shawn Michaels-esque side kick. Lemos found the home for a stiff jab. Lemos also found success with one-two combinations. Waterson landed a takedown with one minute left. Waterson landed a nice right hand before the round ended. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Lemos
Time for today’s co-main to keep this insane #UFCLongIsland action rolling 🤩@KarateHottieMMA vs Amanda Lemos goes down RIGHT NOW on @ABCNetwork 📺 pic.twitter.com/nhqmxZpHgl
The day’s penultimate fight is starting shortly. Amanda Lemos vs. Michelle Waterson in the co-main event.
Live, Laugh, Leech!@UFCJingliang | #UFCLongIsland pic.twitter.com/PSFMsCf1DT
Leech isn’t done yet! 💥
Another finish for this stacked #UFCLongIsland! pic.twitter.com/wqOvK5QVM4
Li Jingliang vs. Muslim Salikhov — Round 2: Salikhov caught a kick and landed a punch that dropped “The Leech” to his butt. Li returned to the feet and nearly avoided a spinning wheel kick. Li scored a takedown and landed some shots from top but Salikhov stood up not long after. A counter left hand by Salikhov had audible impact. Li cut off Salikhov’s overhand right with a right cross that sent Salikhov stumbling across the Octagon. Another right had dropped Salikhov as “The Leech” finished things off with ground-and-pound. Official result: Li Jingliang def. Muslim Salikhov via TKO, Round 2.
Li Jingliang vs. Muslim Salikhov — Round 1: The two welterweights exchanged equally on the feet. Salikhov landed a nice takedown and landed punches from the top. “The Leech” eventually kicked off the hips and got to his feet. Salikhov landed a spinning heel kick to the body but it did not land flush. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Salikhov
‘The Leech’ vs ‘King of Kung Fu’❗️
Still buzzing after that @Danger_Caged performance! pic.twitter.com/wJcy5g4VOe
We will be seeing highlights of this for a long time – a comeback for the ages by @Danger_Caged 👏 #UFCLongIsland pic.twitter.com/LiPH9QBeTV
Welterweights Li Jingliang and Muslim Salikhovare making their walks to the cage.
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