When two of the best featherweights in the world square off against each other in the main event of a UFC event, you know it will be an action-packed fight. Alexander Volkanovski has long been one of the dominant champions, yet Yair Rodriguez represents an unknown threat which will test Volkanovski. Expect this battle to feature striking but there may also be opportunity for grapple action to make for an exciting clash.
Volkanovski looks like the favorite in this contest because his powerful hands and incredible footwork make him extremely effective on both feet. Volkanovski excels at picking opponents apart at range while unleashing multiple strikes at once, providing bettors with ample opportunities.
Volkanovski may not possess as much talent on the ground, but since becoming champion he has significantly enhanced his wrestling technique. This was evident during both fights against Makhachev and then in his decision win over Ortega.
However, against Rodriguez it will be much more challenging to rely on his stand-up game alone. Rodriguez is an aggressive striker with the unique ability to generate multiple lethal kicks in quick succession; he can hit boxing combinations as well as kicks from either stance instantly.
As Emmett was put down with one overhand left punch from Volkanovski, he demonstrated how one punch can turn the tide of battle in an instant. Volkanovski has the reach advantage to attack from distance; should Volkanovski push forward too aggressively, Volkanovski will pay.
Volkanovski will have an advantage if he can seize control early in this fight and force Rodriguez to play catch-up, as well as keeping him off balance with counter attacks and slip-in overhands.
Rodriguez on the other hand tends to overextend himself and can easily be caught with a powerful left hook or right cross. While his sense for striking is good, more precise striking needs to take place for better results.
Most likely, both fighters will settle into an attritional fight that ultimately leads to a decision for their respective champions.
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Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez Fight Information
- Date: 07/08/2023
- Time: 12:05 AM ET
- Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada.
- How to Watch Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez: ESPN+
- Live Stream: BT Sport.com