The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Mexico City on Saturday for UFC on ESPN+ 17: Rodriguez vs. Stephens. First, the fighters had to step on the scale to make their bouts official.
Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens top the UFC on ESPN+ 17 fight card, promising an exciting headliner for Mexican fans. It is a bout that should encourage movement in the featherweight championship picture.
Both fighters made weight at 145 pounds on the nose.
Rodriguez is currently ranked No. 7 in the 145-pound division. His only loss in the Octagon since winning The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America was to Frankie Edgar. He rebounded with a win over Chan Sung Jung late last year, but hopes to build some momentum with a win in Mexico in front of his home country fans.
Stephens is coming off of back-to-back losses to Jose Aldo and Zabit Magomedsharipov, but still maintains the No. 8 spot in the rankings. A victory over Rodriguez would be an important step for him to move toward an eventual shot at the belt.
The only fighter on the UFC Mexico City fight card to miss weight was Octagon newcomer Vanessa Melo. She weighed 140 pounds, a full four pounds over the limit for her bantamweight non-title fight with Irene Aldana. Melo looked drained and stepped gingerly from the scale after weighing in with a curtain around her.
No announcement was made at the official weigh-in, but if Aldana agrees to accept the fight, it is standard procedure that Melo would be fined either 20 or 30 percent of her fight purse, which would be given to Aldana.
Main Card (8 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV)
- Yair Rodríguez (145) vs. Jeremy Stephens (145)
- Carla Esparza (115) vs. Alexa Grasso (116)
- Brandon Moreno (124) vs. Askar Askarov (125)
- Irene Aldana (135) vs. Vanessa Melo (140)*
- Martin Bravo (144) vs. Steven Peterson (146)
Prelims (5 p.m. ET on ESPN)
- José Alberto Quiñónez (134) vs. Carlos Huachin (136)
- Polo Reyes (145) vs. Kyle Nelson (146)
- Ariane Carnelossi (112) vs. Angela Hill (115)
- Tyson Nam (126) vs. Sergio Pettis (124)
- Vinicius Moreira (206) vs. Paul Craig (206)
- Sijara Eubanks (135) vs. Bethe Correia (136)
- Claudio Puelles (155) vs. Marcos Rosa Mariano (154)
*Vanessa Melo missed weight.
Tune in for the full UFC on ESPN+ 17: Rodriguez vs. Stephens live results on Saturday, Sept. 21, from Mexico City, where Yair Rodriguez squares off with Jeremy Stephens in the featherweight main event.