Alexander Volkanovski Retains His Featherweight Title With A Third-Round TKO Win Over Yair Rodriguez

November 15, 2023
5 months

Alexander Volkanovski beat Yair Rodriguez with a masterful performance to secure a third-round TKO win.

Volkanovski was putting his featherweight title on the line, having moved up in weight to fight Islam Makhachev in his last bought. And after having lost via a unanimous decision, the pressure was on him to perform. 

And Volkanovski did not disappoint. The opening round was cagey initially, as both men were feeling each other out. Rodriguez began to attack with some kicks, but Volkanovski responded with a takedown against the cage. 

While the challenger managed to get up, Rodriguez was pummeled. As both men moved to the centre, Volkanovski inflicted some heavy blows on Rodriguez with his punches.

Another takedown followed in a dominant round for the champion. However, a cut did appear on Volkanovski’s left eye which was the only sign of concern. 

In the second, Rodriguez’s kicks were defended against as the champion responded with an overhand right. Pushing the challenger back once again, Volkanovski secured another takedown.

The heavy blows came in once again, as the champion’s ground and pound strikes proved successful. And the inevitable occurred in the third round. The champion hit Rodriguez with a right-hook counter.

As Rodriguez was hurt, Volkanovski followed up with more blows to the head and ribcage. Another takedown followed, as the punches secured a third-round stoppage. 

As a result, the UFC 290 win was Volkanovski’s fifth defense of his title. The only sour note was that the champion admitted he would require surgery on his arm.

But in truth, the night showed Volkanovski’s superior class. 

Reaction 

“I knew he’d switch stance and the right hook would be good, I know I could go anywhere. I showed I can wrestle and strike with the rest of them. 

“Sky is the limit. There’s a few options, I need surgery on my arm, camp was a struggle, I’ll get that as soon as I’m home and fight once more this year, I’ll squash Topuria and I still want that lightweight belt,” Volkanovski

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