Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez will be unifying the featherweight title this summer.
According to Fox Sports Australia, Volkanovski is targeted to defend his title against the interim champ in Rodriguez at UFC 290 on July 8 which serves as International Fight Week. The event is set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After Volkanovski lost a decision to Islam Makhachev at UFC 284, the Aussie wanted an immediate rematch. Yet, Dana White made it clear Rodriguez would be next for the featherweight champ.
“When you make a super fight, could you possibly have a better result than we did?” White said after the Feb. 25 Fight Night card (h/t MMAJunkie). “The entire world is arguing on who won. That’s a superfight and it delivered. The only thing that could possibly be better than that is the guy who’s fighting for the interim title, comes out looking incredible, too. So now you have Yair vs. Volkanovski. We’ll see what happens with Islam and who he ends up fighting next. You have to do Yair. You have to do that fight. He came out looking like an absolute stud that night. And then you have the rematch after they both fight again. It could not have a better result… To me, the fight that makes sense is you make Yair vs. Vokanovski.”
Alexander Volkanovski (25-2) had his 22-fight win streak snapped last time out as he lost a close decision to Makhachev. At 145lbs in the UFC, Volkanovski is 10-0 and has defended his title four times. The Aussie won the belt back at UFC 245 in December of 2019 with a decision win over Max Holloway. Volkanovski has beaten Holloway three times while also holding notable wins over Jose Aldo, Brian Ortega, Korean Zombie, and Chad Mendes.
Yair Rodriguez (15-3 and one No Contest) became the interim featherweight champ at UFC 284 as he scored a second-round submission win over Josh Emmett. The Mexican is 10-2 and one No Contest in the UFC with notable wins over Ortega, Korean Zombie, Jeremy Stephens, BJ Penn, and Dan Hooker among others.
Currently, Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez is the first fight reported for UFC 290.
Who do you think will win at UFC 290, Alexander Volkanovski or Yair Rodriguez?