UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski has stood unbeaten in the 145-pound division since 2019, with four title defenses under his belt. This weekend, however, presents a distinct challenge in the form of Yair Rodríguez, an interim title-holder with a uniquely potent Taekwondo-based offense. But Volkanovski seems unfazed and ready to meet Rodríguez head-on, as the betting odds suggest an exhilarating main event at UFC 290 on Saturday, July 8.
Given the recent odds, the fight market is aligning with Volkanovski’s confidence. The Australian champion’s odds for a Round 1 victory are pegged at 10/1. As the fight progresses, these odds slightly increase, with Round 2 and Round 3 victories predicted at 11/1 and 12/1 respectively. The odds stretch further to 16/1 and 22/1 for wins in Rounds 4 and 5, reflecting the fact that Volkanovski is generally more potent in the earlier rounds.
Rodríguez, on the other hand, has odds stacked against him for an early knockout. A Round 1 victory for the Mexican fighter is listed at a lengthier 19/1. Rodríguez’s odds then level with Volkanovski’s in Round 2 at 22/1, and increase further to 25/1, 33/1, and a substantial 40/1 for wins in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds, respectively. These figures indicate that Rodríguez’s chances of winning seem to diminish as the fight goes on.
Volkanovski’s bravado has been well-documented in the lead-up to the fight. “Taekwondo Volk’s Gonna Come for Yair” has been his battle cry, hinting at his readiness to match Rodríguez’s unique offense. In a recent interview with NBC Sports, Volkanovski seemed undeterred by Rodríguez’s skill set, indicating his willingness to go spinning heel kick for spinning heel kick with the challenger.
Rodríguez has quite a task ahead if he is to secure an undisputed status. He must succeed where Max Holloway, Brian Ortega, Chan Sung Jung, José Aldo, and Chad Mendes have previously failed. Despite the daunting challenge, Rodríguez’s unique and eccentric Taekwondo-based offense could serve as the secret weapon, potentially causing an upset victory. This intriguing element of Rodríguez’s game has even been highlighted by former two-division champion Daniel Cormier, who underscored the importance of Rodríguez’s kicks.
With a volatile matchup and an interesting stylistic contrast, UFC 290 is set to be a blockbuster. Bettors looking to cash in on the action should carefully consider the fight dynamics and the fighter’s individual skills before placing their bets. While the odds favor Volkanovski, Rodríguez’s unique offense adds an unpredictable element to the equation, making this an enticing main event for both viewers and bettors alike.