Alexander Volkanovski (26-2) earned a TKO victory over Yair Rodriguez (16-4) to unify the UFC featherweight championship at UFC 290 from T-Cellular Area in Las Vegas.
Volkanovski opened the primary by stalking Rodriguez across the cage. The interim champion stored Volkanovski at distance with a handful of headkick pictures, however Volkanovski jumped underneath a kick early within the spherical for a takedown. Rodriguez was capable of battle Volkanovski off on the bottom and made his means again to his ft. Volkanovski stored his arms locked on their ft and tossed the challenger again to the bottom to take care of his management, then slid sideways into an arm triangle however couldn’t get his hips in place. They completed the spherical swinging arms at one another on the bottom.
The second spherical began with a extra aggressive Rodriguez, who took the battle to Volkanovski with extra kicks from vary. Volkanovski appeared to harm Rodriguez with a few huge proper hand pictures that stumbled him earlier than the champ picked him up and slammed him to the mat. Rodriguez escaped to his ft, however Volkanovski once more confirmed his power in taking the interim champion down. On the mat, Rodriguez was a bloody mess as Volkanovski let his arms fly earlier than the tip of the spherical.
The third noticed a bit extra of a cautious Rodriguez, cautious of Volkanovski’s takedown skills as he tried to maintain the champ at vary. Rodriguez started to chip away at Volkanovski with a slew of head kicks and punch mixtures. Volkanovski harm Rodriguez late within the spherical with a monstrous proper hand shot earlier than scooping him up, slamming him and ending him on the bottom.
Rodriguez summited Josh Emmett to assert the interim featherweight championship in February. Earlier than that win, he knocked out Brian Ortega to maneuver into title rivalry.
Saturday evening’s contest was Volkanovski’s return to the featherweight division after dropping a choice loss in his try to maneuver as much as light-weight in opposition to Islam Makhachev.