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UFC 290 LIVE: Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez results

Re-live updates from two titles fights and a stacked undercard in Las Vegas

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Saturday 08 July 2023 23:16 BST
Ciryl Gane reveals key coaching tip that he ignored in Jon Jones loss

Alexander Volkanovski continued his dominant run atop the UFC featherweight division on Saturday, stopping interim champion Yair Rodriguez to unify the titles.

Volkanovski controlled the Mexican on the mat for most of the first two rounds, and just when Rodriguez began to flicker into life in the striking exchanges, Volkanovski fired back with a hard right hook to set up a ground-and-pound finish in Round 3.

In the co-main event, Alexandre Pantoja won a thrilling, back-and-forth battle with Brandon Moreno, taking the flyweight title from the Mexican with a split-decision win. The victory also saw the Brazilian move to 3-0 against two-time champion Moreno, whom Pantoja also beat in 2016 and 2018.

Earlier in the night, South Africa’s Dricus Du Plessis stunned Robert Whittaker, beating the ex-middleweight champion via TKO before facing off with reigning title holder Israel Adesanya in a heated exchange. All the while, ex-US president Donald Trump watched on from ringside.

Also, former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler won his retirement fight by knocking out Niko Price inside the first minute, Dan Hooker outpointed Jalin Turner despite suffering a broken arm, and Bo Nickal knocked out Val Woodburn to move to 5-0 with a fifth first-round finish. Re-live UFC 290 below.


UFC 290 LIVE: Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez

Round 2

Volkanovski seems to have a cut above his left eye, but it’s not too bad right now. Rodriguez leaps into range with a flamboyant head-kick attempt, but Volk evades it and circles away.

Volkanovski gets ahold of Rodriguez and drives him to the fence. He tries to take the back, but Yair does a good job of fighting the Aussie’s hands and standing back up... but not for long. Volk gets him down again and is in half-guard.

Volkanovski with slashing elbows from above, and Rodriguez’s face is leaking blood now. The champion moves into the interim champion’s guard and lands more ground and pound – this time in the form of punches.

Alex Pattle9 July 2023 06:00

UFC 290 LIVE: Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez

Round 1

Both men stand orthodox but are switching stances already. Rodriguez is the taller, rangier fighter. Forward comes Volkanovski. “Pantera” (panther) is the chant from the Mexican contingent in the arena, referencing Rodriguez’s nickname.

Rodriguez just misses with a question-mark kick, then Volkanovski kicks low. Rodriguez kicks to the body, then again – but his second attempt is caught, and Volk takes him down! He’s into Rodriguez’s guard, shuffling to the fence.

In fact, Volkanovski is in front of his corner now. He’s listening to them and throwing hard body shots. Former women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Pena is shouting advice to Rodriguez from the crowd.

Rodriguez is eventually able to create space and stand, but Volk drags him back down. More ground strikes from the official champion.

Volk tries for an arm-triangle choke, but Yair uses the threat of a kimura to deter the Australian. Volk ends the round on top.

Alex Pattle9 July 2023 05:54

UFC 290 LIVE: Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez


Alex Pattle9 July 2023 05:48

UFC 290 LIVE: Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez

I’ve never seen a fighter look so calm while Bruce Buffer screams in their face as Rodriguez did just now.

Alex Pattle9 July 2023 05:48

UFC 290 LIVE: Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez

Rodriguez is out first, followed by Volkanovski to “Down Under” by Men At Work. Lovely stuff.

Alex Pattle9 July 2023 05:41

UFC 290 LIVE: Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez

Volkanovski and Rodriguez both fought on the same night in February, as “Alexander The Great” lost a controversial decision while challenging Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title, after Rodriguez submitted Josh Emmett to win the interim featherweight strap.

The 145lbs titles will be unified tonight, as pound-for-pound great Volkanovski returns to his usual division to take on the Mexican – one of the most unique strikers in MMA.

Volkanovski is making his fifth defence of the belt, having retained it against Max Holloway twice, Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung.

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Alex Pattle9 July 2023 05:40

UFC 290 LIVE: Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez

It’s been a night of upsets, as the bookies have seen it.

One more?

Alexander Volkanovski defends his featherweight title against interim champion Yair Rodriguez next, in our main event!

Alexander Volkanovski (left) and challenger Yair Rodriguez (Getty Images)
Alex Pattle9 July 2023 05:29

UFC 290 LIVE: Brandon Moreno vs Alexandre Pantoja

Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Moreno via split decision (46-49, 48-47, 48-47).

AND NEW! Pantoja moves to 3-0 against Moreno! He collapses to the mat in tears.

There are some boos in the T-Mobile Arena, but that’s the right result. 49-46 to Moreno was a kind scorecard for the Mexican.

Alex Pattle9 July 2023 05:25

UFC 290 LIVE: Brandon Moreno vs Alexandre Pantoja

Round 5

Moreno and Pantoja are both landing clean punches! Moreno may need a stoppage in this round to retain his title!

Pantoja lands a takedown, and this could be brutal for Moreno’s chances... Pantoja takes Moreno’s back, and he keeps it as the Mexican stands.

One minute left... Boos rain down at the T-Mobile Arena.

Alex Pattle9 July 2023 05:21

UFC 290 LIVE: Brandon Moreno vs Alexandre Pantoja

Round 4

Moreno cut up Pantoja’s face with an elbow in that second round. Now he lands a harsh left hook and uppercut!

A wild punching exchange ensues. This is like Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots! Pantoja changes that, though, with a drive double-leg takedown!

Moreno stands, but he’s being held against the fence. Now he’s taken down again.

Eventually he stands and swings big at Pantoja! He lands a nasty elbow, too, right on the buzzer!

Alex Pattle9 July 2023 05:15

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