Mixed martial arts: Injury to opponent gives victory to featherweight Yair Rodriguez

Brian Ortega (left) fights Yair Rodriguez during UFC Fight Night at UBS Arena on July 16, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Saturday's (July 16) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night featherweight main event, which was steeped in title shot implications for both fighters, ended in anti-climactic fashion when an apparent injury to Brian Ortega in the first round gave the match to Yair Rodriguez on a TKO.

At the 4min 11sec mark of the round at UBS Arena in Elmont, New York, Ortega, who had sent Rodriguez to the ground, appeared to dislocate his right shoulder as he tried to evade Rodriguez's armbar attempt. He had dealt with an injury to the same shoulder in 2016.

"I don't know how this happened. I wanted to keep going, but I've had two shoulder surgeries already, and I might need a third one. Who knows?" said Ortega, who began the day second in the featherweight division.

Mexican Rodriguez said: "I prefer to win and I guess I did, but that's not the way I wanted. He dislocated his shoulder. I'm sorry it happened, but it's part of the game." He was third among featherweights.

"I already told him we can run it back, but I would rather do it for a championship. But I'm OK with whatever the UFC decides," Rodriguez said.

The TKO improved Rodriguez's record to 14-3, while American Ortega fell to 15-3.

Both began the day trying to set themselves up for a title shot against Australian Alexander Volkanovski (25-1).

In other matches on the main card, Amando Lemos of Brazil defeated Michelle Waterson by submission at 1:48 of the second round in a women's strawweight co-main.

Lemos improved to 12-2-1, while Waterson, of New Mexico, fell to 18-10.

In a men's welterweight bout, Li Jingliang (19-7) of China defeated Muslim Salikhov (18-3) of Russia on a TKO at the 4:38 mark of the second round.

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