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With Kevin Natividad out, Ray Rodriguez in to face Brian Kelleher at UFC Vegas 9

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

There’s been a late switch to Saturday night’s UFC Vegas 9 event.

Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that promotional newcomer Ray Rodriguez, who weighed in as a backup on Friday, will now face Brian Kelleher in a featherweight matchup. Kevin Natividad was slated to face Kelleher but he was a late scratch for reasons undisclosed at this time.

Rodriguez enters the fight having won three of his last four fights. “The Judge” competed on Dana White’s Contender Series in August 2019 and lost a unanimous decision to Tony Gravely. The San Antonio native bounced back with a third-round submission win over Andy Perez at Combate Americas 49 in November.

Kelleher looks to get back on track after having a two-fight winning streak snapped by Cody Stamann at UFC 250 in June. “Boom” picked up a first-round submission win over Ode Osbourne at UFC 246 and went on to finish Hunter Azure in May via second-round knockout.

UFC Vegas 9 will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Augusto Sakai.

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