UFC & MMA Betting

Volkanovski vs Rodriguez Prediction: Does the Mexican Have What It Takes?



Alexander Volkanovski returns to the Featherweight after his unsuccessful attempt to become a double champ against Islam Makhachev. But he will face one of the most aggressive opponents in the division and current Interim Champion – Yair Rodriguez. Here is our Volkanovski vs Rodriguez prediction.

UFC 290: Volkanovski vs Rodriguez Prediction

Alexander Volkanovski Preview

Alexander Volkanovski was undefeated in the UFC until his recent attempt at the lightweight belt. We have always said that he is more than capable of being successful in the higher division and he proved that there is potential for the future. But now, he is back down to Featherweight.

Volkanovski has 25 wins and 2 defeats in his career and bookmakers definitely think that he will achieve another title defense here. Here is what we think about his chances, followed by our Volkanovski vs Rodriguez prediction.

Volkanovski will do everything not to repeat the mistakes of Josh Emmett against Yair Rodriguez. He will immediately close the distance and work as the 1st number, and not stand in the distance with hopes of catching Yair with a counterattack.

First of all, Yair needs to be deprived of maneuverability and speed, so both low and body shots will go into action, which the champion will be able to deliver with convenience just because of the difference in height. Rodriguez is seriously superior to the champion in height, but in terms of arm span, the fighters are approximately identical.

Volkanovski's chances of winning remain high despite the fact that Yair is extremely dangerous and aggressive. We believe that Alex has reached his peak now and although he wants to move up, he is motivated to remain on top of the Featherweight division.

In any case, Alex will give all his best and will be able to survive almost all the attacks and blows of the Panther. Yes, sometimes Volk flirts and takes extra damage, but it's hard to believe that after the punches from Makhachev, the Mexican will be able to surprise the champion with a lot.

Yair Rodriguez Preview

It should be obvious that Yair did not deserve a title shot yet. He only got that position because Volkanovski had to fight Makhachev and because he already beat every single contender multiple times.

The offensive defeat from Holloway proved that Rodriguez clearly has room to improve, and exposed a lot of his weaknesses, whether it be tactical developments or defense. And this makes our decision for the Volkanovski vs Rodriguez prediction rather easy.

The fight against Alex is probably Yair's only chance for a title in the coming years. Given his zero media weight, in the event of a defeat, Rodriguez is unlikely to receive a new chance without a couple of new wins in between.

Yair is definitely not going to try and break records and instead will try to take the fight by decision. This time around, he will build all his efforts from the counterattack.

The Mexican hasn't knocked anyone out in the octagon for a long time. If you forgot, he scored his last normal knockout in 2018. And that says a lot about Yair's knockout power – it's practically non-existent.

That is why it is quite difficult to imagine how Rodriguez is going to surprise Alex this time. Perhaps his excellent kicks will help him, but that's probably all.

Alex Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez Prediction: Volkanovski Should Defend His Title

Undoubtedly, Yair was broken by the story of the alleged use of illegal drugs. In 2020, he hid his whereabouts from doping officers three times and did not take tests. Then, he returned to the octagon and showed a weak performance after 2 years of inactivity against Max Holloway, obviously not the top fighter at that time. It was clear that the fighter was seriously out of shape.

Even after 2 victories in a row, Rodriguez clearly does not look like a worthy contender. Of course, he will try to force the fight, but his strength is only enough for a couple of rounds, which the Wolf will clearly survive. But then, Volkanovski will pick up the pace, work harder in the clinch and try to bring the fight to the ground. By now, it should be clear what our Volkanovski vs Rodriguez prediction will be.

Alex is not afraid of getting hit and is ready to go into dangerous exchanges if the situation requires it. But Volkanovski still has a problem. He has won too often and is now overly confident in his stamina and steadfastness.

• Volkanovski to Win/Over 3.5 Rounds

Vlad is a former amateur MMA fighter. After a series of injuries, he found a different way to connect with the sport and its fanbase - through writing. He's been covering everything-UFC for over 5 years on various platforms and has been part of the team at NYFights since early 2022.