Carla Esparza vs. Marina Rodriguez is back on for “Fight Island” as both fighters agreed to meet on July 25, multiple sources told MMA Fighting.
The strawweight contest was originally booked for the second Abu Dhabi card on July 15, but the company decided to pull the plug after one of Rodriguez’s corners tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
Rodriguez’s test came back negative, but the UFC opted to remove her from the chartered flight that brought athletes and coaches from Brazil on July 3. The Brazilian will remain quarantined on the hotel in Sao Paulo and leave for Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Esparza (16-6), a former 115-pound titleholder in both the UFC and Invicta, is looking to go 4-0 inside the octagon after 2019 wins against Virna Jandiroba and Alexa Grasso and a recent decision win over Michelle Waterson.
Contender Series talent Rodriguez (12-0-2) won two of four UFC bouts, a pair of decisions against Jessica Aguilar and Tecia Torres sandwiched between majority draws versus Randa Markos and Cynthia Calvillo.
The fourth “Fight Island” show in Abu Dhabi will be headlined by former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Till.