Daniel Cormier shares Yair Rodriguez’s key to victory at UFC 290

Yair Rodriguez needs to utilize one key tool to achieve victory at UFC 290, says this Hall of Famer.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 3 months ago

Yair Rodriguez is known for his striking prowess and the flashy highlight reels to prove it. To date, his last-second elbow strike KO of “The Korean Zombie” Chan-sung Jung remains to be one of the most picture-perfect finishes in recent history. 

“El Pantera” pulled off a rare submission win at UFC 284 when he won the interim title against Josh Emmett. And based on that win, Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier urges him to likewise have a ‘different’ approach against reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski

Cormier shares Yair Rodriguez’s key to victory

In a recent video he uploaded on his YouTube channel, “DC” advised Yair Rodriguez to be as creative as he could to give Volkanovski different looks. 

“Yair Rodriguez is going to have to do something different this weekend because if he forces and he goes forward too much, he’s going to find himself in trouble,” Cormier said (quotes via MMA Junkie).

“He’s got to use his kicks like he did against Josh Emmett. It can’t be the hands that is going to save Yair Rodriguez. If he tries to do it with the hands, he’s going to get eaten up like Max did in fight No. 3 by Volkanovski. He’s that good. 

“You have got to do it with the kicks if you’re Yair Rodriguez. Problem with kicks is, Volkanovski can wrestle.”

‘DC’ Praises Volkanovski

Cormier has always been all praises for Volkanovski, and this video is no different. But he also mentioned the champ’s biggest strengths. 

“This guy is so thorough,” Cormier said of Volkanovski. “I’m telling you, it’s the fight IQ, coupled with the ability that makes this guy so great.” 

“This guy’s doing like, calculus, and we’re talking about Max Holloway, who is tremendous, he’s the best. Max is the best and then Alexander Volkanovski by fight No. 3 has really figured out the puzzle to put himself so far ahead. 

“You very rarely get a guy that’s shorter that possesses that type of countering ability.”

What UFC 290 looks like at the moment

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez will be the event’s headliner, which takes place this Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. At the co-main event is another title fight between flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja

Part of the event is Volkanovski’s teammate Dan Hooker, who faces the streaking Jalin Turner. In a fight week interview, Hooker revealed being offered a bout with former interim champion Tony Ferguson, something he says left him “so f–ng offended.” 

Also on the card is a title eliminator bout between former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and Dricus du Plessis. Du Plessis talked about the high-risk Whittaker presents.

“A lot of people are saying it’s not the smart move to be fighting Whitaker,” Du Plessis said, when asked about the fight. “100 percent I agree with that. I agree, it’s not the smart move. But I’m not here to be smart. Otherwise, I would’ve stayed in school and finished my studies and had to go work at a bank or wore a suit to work every day and did some corporate life.

“But that’s not the life I chose. I chose to be a warrior. I chose to be an entertainer. And at the end of the day, I’m a fighter, and that’s what I do. I fight. I don’t want to get that title shot based on some hype created by, I don’t even know what… some guy who has the title who’s behaving like a little child and overreacting, and now the fight is happening because of hype. I want to deserve my title shot. I don’t want to be handed a title shot. I’m gonna deserve my belt. And that’s why I wanted that Whittaker fight.”

Rising prospect Bo Nickal will open up the main card when he faces the debuting Val Woodburn.

There was some worry when Nickal’s prior opponent, Tresean Gore pulled out due to injury. It was quite a feat of matchmaking for the UFC to find Nickal an opp with only four day’s notice. He is now scheduled to fight Valentine Woodburn.

Woodburn is 29 with a 7-0 record. All of his pro bouts have been with the Combat Night Pro organization. His last fight was in August, 2022 when he beat Luis Melo (30-16-3) via unanimous decision to defend the CN middleweight title.

Share this story

About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

More from the author

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories