In July, we are going to see a title unification bout for the UFC featherweight title. Ariel Helwani was the first to report today that champion Alexander Volkanovski (25-2) will take on interim champion Yair Rodriguez (15-3) for the undisputed title.
UFC 290 will take place on July 8th. At the moment, it’s not clear on whether or not this fight will serve as the main event or co-main event. Rumors have been flying that this fight has always been the targeted co-main for the International Fight Week card.
If the promotion gets their wish, the event will likely be headlined by the heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and former champion Stipe Miocic. Nevertheless, let’s turn our attention to this massive fight for the undisputed featherweight championship.
Both men fought just a couple of months ago at UFC 284. Volkanovski moved up to lightweight to challenge Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title while Rodriguez fought Josh Emmett for the interim featherweight title. Rodriguez looked sensational in his bout against Emmett.
He was able to survive getting hit with Emmett’s power and proceeded to pick apart the powerful contender. Emmett got the fight to the ground in the second round after getting battered and Rodriguez immediately threw up a triangle choke and got the submission win.
In the main event, Volkanovski got his chance to become a two-division champion. Despite ultimately losing a close decision, Volkanovski had a sensational performance. While the record book shows a loss, the general feel from the public was that Volkanovski came out of the fight the true winner.
He dropped and battered Makhachev in the fifth round of their fight. However, he didn’t get his hand raised and now he’ll move back down to defend his title against the interim champion.