UFC 290 will feature a fight between Yair Rodriguez and Alexander Volkanovski.
According to reports, Yair Rodriguez will be Alexander Volkanovski’s opponent when he makes his comeback to the 145-pound weight class.
Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez are reportedly planning a fight for the lineal UFC featherweight championship at UFC 290.
Earlier today (Monday, March 13, 2023) Fox Sports revealed that UFC 290 on July 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the T-Mobile Arena is planned to feature a title unification fight between undisputed 145-pound monarch Volkanovski (25-2) and interim titleholder Yair Rodriguez (16-3, 1 no contest).
If the information is true, Volkanovski will contest Islam Makhachev for the lightweight championship at UFC 284. He will then return to the featherweight division. After the closely fought loss, Volkanovski voiced a strong desire for a rematch rather than taking on Rodriguez.
Yet, it seems that UFC executives are considering including Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez to the promotion’s expanding UFC 290 schedule during International Fight Week in Las Vegas. The heavyweight title battle between Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic is expected to be the main attraction of the event.
The final of Volkanovski’s three featherweight title defences took place against Max Holloway at UFC 276 last summer. To establish himself as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC, he secured a convincing unanimous decision victory.
Volkanovski won the title by defeating Holloway at UFC 245 and then triumphed in the rematch by decision at UFC 251. Over the course of his title reign, he has also defeated opponents like Brian Ortega and The Korean Zombie.
At UFC 284, Rodriguez defeated Josh Emmett to claim the interim featherweight championship. The only defeat during that time came in a contest for “Fight of the Year” against Holloway in November 2021. He has won three of his last four fights.
The featherweight division would be clarified by Volkanovski’s comeback matchup with Rodriguez. If Volkanovski received his request for a quick rematch with Makhachev, Rodriguez might have been expected to defend the interim championship at least once.
Also, the Australian boxer is currently in the spotlight due to his appearance on the same bill as Jones, who reportedly made headlines a few days ago. The interim champion, Rodriguez, will be the opponent for the featherweight champion’s fifth attempt to defend his championship.
In case you were unaware, Rodriguez immediately stepped up and challenged Volkanovski after winning the co-main event, but he wasn’t sure he’d have the opportunity. But now, given recent rumours, it seems that he might soon have the opportunity to face him and realise his dream of being the Featherweight champion. In addition, if he wins, he will become the third person of Mexican heritage to claim the UFC title.
UFC 290 will close out 2023’s International Fight Week, it was confirmed ahead of the recent UFC 285 pay-per-view (PPV) on March 4, 2023. In UFC 285 two weeks ago, Jon Jones, a previous two-time Light Heavyweight champion, made his heavyweight debut and won the championship by guillotine submission against Ciryl Gane in just two minutes. This effectively sets up his first title defence at the summertime showcase against divisional legend Stipe Miocic. Currently, no other pairings have been brought forward.