UFC 290: Pros react to Alexander Volkanovski making statement in finish of Yair Rodriguez

See how fellow fighters reacted to Alexander Volkanovski retaining the UFC featherweight title agianst Yair Rodriguez in the main event of UFC 290.
UFC 284 Weigh-in
UFC 284 Weigh-in / Paul Kane/GettyImages

If you didn't believe Alexander Volkanovski was the best fighter on the planet, he may have made a strong case with his successful UFC featherweight title defense against Yair Rodriguez in the main event of UFC 290.

The first round proved to be fairly quiet to start, with Volkanovski landing a takedown a couple of minutes into the fight, and the two remaining on the ground for most of the round. Rodriguez, however, landed a strong elbow from the bottom that caused a cut around one of Volkanovski's eyes.

Volkanovski managed to clip Rodriguez a couple of times on the inside, and pressured him against the cage, taking him down a couple of more times. Volkanovski managed to bust open Rodriguez on the side of his face, as he rained down some ground-and-pound on the challenger.

After a slower pace was brought to the third round, Volkanovski rocked Rodriguez with a right hand and fired away, bringing the fight to a close before the horn.

UFC 290: Pros react to Alexander Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez

Volkanovski became UFC featherweight champion at UFC 245 in December 2019, where he defeated Max Holloway. Since then, Volkanovski retained the title on two occasions against Holloway, as well as in fights with Yair Rodriguez and "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung. Volkanovski attempted to become a two-division champion when he challenged Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title at UFC 284 but ultimately fell short, suffering just the second defeat of his MMA career.

Rodriguez entered this fight with a 4-2 (1 No Contest) record in his last seven fights. He became interim featherweight champion by submitting Josh Emmett at UFC 284.

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UFC 290 takes place on Saturday, July 8, from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided MMA, who is on site, for all your live news and highlights.

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