Alexander Volkanovski not looking past “dangerous” Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290: “He’s been dominating and looking good in his last few”

By Harry Kettle - April 20, 2023

Alexander Volkanovski has said that he isn’t looking past the challenge of Yair Rodriguez when they collide at UFC 290 this summer.

Alexander Volkanovski, Yair Rodriguez

Following on from his dramatic collision with Islam Makhachev, Alexander Volkanovski is ready to dive right back into the Octagon. On July 8, ‘The Great’ is set to defend his UFC featherweight championship when he goes up against interim champion Yair Rodriguez.

After years of being viewed as a contender, Rodriguez finally has the chance to climb to the top of the mountain and become the third Mexican-born undisputed champ. Of course, that’s easier said than done, given Volkanovski’s status as one of the pound-for-pound best in the sport.

Some fans are already looking at the prospect of Volkanovski running it back with Makhachev. For the man himself, though, he isn’t ready to look past Yair.

“I’m looking at him as a real challenger, like he’s a dangerous fighter,” Volkanovski said. “He could be one of the most dangerous fighters I’ve fought really. When you talk about unpredictability and knockout power and so many different tools, you need to take him really serious. I think I’m the best fighter in the world, so am I confident? Yeah, but I know not to take this guy lightly. He’s been dominating and looking good in his last few fights.”

Volkanovski is ready for Rodriguez

“He was very good with his flashy stuff, but that’s all he sort of cared about,” Volkanovski said. “Now he looks like he’s a lot more comfortable at all ranges. He looks very unpredictable, when you’re pressuring him at a long range, no matter where it is, he can fire all different things from all different angles. That’s always a big threat, so it’s good. That’s when the master game planning and the fight IQ and all that type of stuff needs to come in, and (I’m) looking forward to it because, again, that excites me.”

Quotes via MMA Junkie

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Alex Volkanovski UFC Yair Rodriguez