UFC 290 was headlined by a featherweight title unification bout between champion Alex Volkanovski and interim title holder Yair Rodriguez.
Volkanovski was clearly better on the ground, but apart from a few moments, he willingly played Rodriguez’s game from distance for the most part. Despite a massive height difference, and Rodriguez’s tricky striking game, Volkanovski ultimately proved that he’s also better from distance. He landed big shots and eventually found a TKO win in the third round.
It was yet another title defense for Volkanovski, who proved to be the best of the best and a top pound-for-pound talent.
Official Result: Alexander Volkanovski def. Yair Rodriguez by TKO (punches), 4:19 Round 3.
Watch Alex Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez highlights from UFC 290
Watch highlights from the UFC 290 title fight:
How did Volkanovski defend his title at UFC 290?
Here’s a snippet from our play-by-play of the contest:
Rodriguez gets a “hard warning” from referee Herb Dean before the third round about grabbing gloves and grabbing the cage. Volkanovski connected with a strong right hook during a striking exchange in the opening minute of the third round. Rodriguez landed a head kick two minutes into the round, then followed-up with two more punches.
Rodriguez scored two kicks to the legs of Volkanovski, then threw one to his body as well. Volkanovski looked to try and clinch or take Rodriguez down after coming forward with a combination. Another good right hook was landed by Volkanovski with two minutes to go. The fight paused briefly with under two minutes left due to a clash of heads. Rodriguez continued to look for kicks in the fourth minute of the round, scoring with a few more.
Volkanovski stunned Rodriguez with a counter right hook as a kick was thrown at him. Clearly hurt by this shot, Rodriguez backed up to the cage. Sensing that he had something to build on, Volkanovski took Rodriguez down and started to pound away with punches on the ground. A standing up Volkanovski continued to throw punches to a grounded and shelled-up Rodriguez until referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the fight. Volkanovski is still your UFC Featherweight Champion.
RESULT: Alexander Volkanovski def. Yair Rodriguez by TKO at 4:19 of round 3: UFC Featherweight Championship
UFC 290 quick results
- Alexander Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez: Featherweight Title Unification
- Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Moreno by split decision (49-46 Moreno, 48-47 Pantoja & 48-47 Pantoja): UFC Flyweight Championship
- Dricus Du Plessis def. Robert Whittaker by TKO at 2:23 of round 2: Middleweight
- Dan Hooker def. Jalin Turner by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28): Lightweight
- Bo Nickal def. Val Woodburn by TKO at :38 of round 1: Middleweight
- Robbie Lawler def. Niko Price by KO at :38 of round 1: Welterweight
- Tatsuro Taira def. Edgar Cháirez by unanimous decision (29-27 x3): 130-pounds
- Denise Gomes def. Yazmin Jauregui by KO at :20 of round 1: Strawweight
- Alonzo Menifield def. Jimmy Crute by submission (guillotine) at 1:55 of round 2: Light Heavyweight
- Vitor Petrino def. Marcin Prachnio by submission (arm triangle) at 3:42 of round 3: Lightweight
- Cameron Saaiman def. Terrence Mitchell by TKO at 3:10 of round 1: Bantamweight
- Jesus Aguilar def. Shannon Ross by KO at :17 of round 1: Flyweight
- Esteban Ribovics def. Kamuela Kirk by unanimous decision (29-28 x3): Lightweight
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