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UFC 290: Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez 07/08/2023 Fight Preview, Picks and Predictions

UFC 290: Volkanovski vs Rodriguez 07/08/2023 – The UFC featherweight title will be unified as current champion Alexander Volkanovski faces interim champion Yair Rodriguez on Saturday, July 8, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The five-round clash will be the main event of the star-studded card with the winner becoming the undisputed champion in the 145-pound division. Volkanovski returns to the featherweight class after a failed bid to capture the lightweight title. Rodriguez, on the other hand, is coming off a two-round submission win over Josh Emmett to become the interim champion. Fans are expecting a “Fight of the Year”-caliber type of match between the two protagonists as they are determined to prove who is the best featherweight fighter in the world. Online sports odds are already updated for the public to place their bets and enjoy watching the match at the same time.

UFC 290: Volkanovski vs Rodriguez 07/08/2023

When:Saturday, July 8, 10:00 PM ET
Where:T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Stream:UFC Fight Pass

UFC 290: Volkanovski vs Rodriguez 07/08/2023 Odds

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Alexander Volkanovski-400Yair Rodriguez+300

Main Card

Alexander Volkanovski

Volkanovski (25-2, 12-1 UFC) returns to the featherweight division, almost five months after failing in his attempt to become a two-division champion. Although he tried his best to outclass lightweight king Islam Makhachev in the five-round clash, the Russian proved to be too much for him and lost via unanimous decision. The Australian will make his fifth defense of the 145-pound title as he has successfully defended it four times (two times against Max Holloway and one each versus Chan-sung Jung and Brian Ortega). Volkanovski has 15 stoppages in 27 fights (12 knockouts and three submissions) on his belt, meaning that he has the skills to finish opponents within the distance. He also has the cardio to last the full route, as he has lasted a combined 32 rounds in his last seven matches.

Come fight time, Volkanovski will face a disadvantage in height as he is five inches shorter than Rodriguez and is 5 1/2 inches shorter in leg reach. However, he has overcome the disadvantage by being persistent in grappling as he has averaged 1.52 successful takedowns per 15 minutes. The takedowns have enabled him to unleash punishment to his opponents through strikes. He has averaged 6.35 significant strikes landed per minute at an accuracy rate of 56%. Volkanovski is also elusive as he has only allowed 3.4 significant strikes per minute. He has defended 59% of the strikes set up against him. His takedown defense is a solid 69%.

Yair Rodriguez

Rodriguez (15-3, 1 NC, 10-2, 1 NC UFC) has gone a long way since winning the Ultimate Fighter: Latin America Featherweight Tournament in November 2014. The Mexican had beaten the likes of BJ Penn, Alex Caceres, Jeremy Stephens, Brian Ortega and Chang Sung-jung before gaining a shot at the world title. In February, he did not waste the opportunity to become the interim featherweight champion as he disposed Josh Emmett via triangle choke in the second round.

On Saturday, Rodriguez will have the chance to wrest the legitimate UFC 145-pound title against Volkanovski in a five-round bout that has “Fight of the Night” potential. The match will be the biggest test of Rodriguez’s career and if he aces the challenge, he will join Brandon Moreno (if he successfully defends his title against Alexandre Pantoja in the co-main event earlier in the evening) and Alexa Grasso as the current Mexican champions in the UFC.

“El Pantera” has stopped nine opponents in his career with five of them by knockout and the rest ending by submission. Rodriguez has a five-inch height advantage that he can use against Volkanovski while standing up. He has been efficient in strikes as he has averaged 4.78 significant strikes landed per minute in his career. He was able to land 46% of his striking attempts. In terms of defense, Rodriguez has absorbed 4.03 strikes per minute and has defended 53% of the striking attempts launched against him. In terms of grappling, Rodriguez has an average of 0.79 takedowns per 15 minutes while his takedown accuracy is 28%. His takedown defense is 63% and his submission average is 0.79 per 15 minutes.

Volkanovski vs Rodriguez Betting Numbers

Alexander Volkanovski
Yair Rodriguez
Last FightLossWin
Weight (lbs)154145
Reach (in)70″70″
Win by KO/TKO48%33%
Win by Submission12%27%
Strikes landed per minute6.114.06
Striking accuracy59%43%
Striking absorbed per minute2.493.11
Striking defense62%58%
Takedown average2.781.02
Takedown accuracy38%33%
Takedown defense72%68%
Submission average0.521.02

Volkanovski vs Rodriguez Betting Picks

Experts who place their focus on MMA parlay betting tab Volkanovski as the big favorite in this encounter despite the fact that he is coming off a loss in his last fight. They think that the Australian is the best in the featherweight division and Rodriguez has no chance of dethroning him. However, those who believe in the underdog Mexican see the fight as a “changing of the guard” match as Rodriguez will use his advantage to outpoint the Australian and become the undisputed featherweight king. The match is expected to last the full route but there is a big possibility that it may end in the middle part of the match if one fighter finds a perfect opening that could turn the tide.