Alexander Volkanovski has defended his UFC featherweight championship for a fifth consecutive time and pushed his case as the best ever within the division with a TKO victory over Mexican and interim champion Yair Rodriguez at T-Cell Enviornment, Las Vegas.
Volkanovski caught Rodriguez with a proper hook sq. on the chin early within the third spherical earlier than unleashing a flurry of punches on his opponent.
Rodriguez was then caught in opposition to the cage and dumped to the bottom earlier than Volkanovski pounded him by way of his guard and referee Herb Dean intervened to cease the battle.
It backed up a dominant opening two rounds the place Rodriguez was hunted across the ring and given restricted area to unleash his lethal kicks. Volkanovski suffocated the Mexican with takedowns and floor management.
He now trails solely former champion Jose Aldo’s seven on the rating of featherweight title defences and has been undefeated within the featherweight division for nearly seven years.
“I am the champ. I am the king of this division. Nobody was ever stopping me,” Volkanovski mentioned following the battle.
The Australian has dominated the featherweight scene since beating former champion Max Holloway for the primary time in December 2019.
His eleventh straight win within the division locations Volkanovski forward of Aldo for the fourth-most in 145-pound historical past – however with a extra dominant 26-2-0 document than the three above him – whereas his successful streak sits behind solely Holloway’s 13 within the division’s historical past.
The bout in Las Vegas was his first battle since a loss by unanimous determination to light-weight champion Islam Makhachev in February. That ended Volkanovski’s 22-fight successful streak, whereas Rodriguez grew to become interim-champion the identical evening with a win over Josh Emmett.
Within the co-main occasion, Brazilian Alexandre Pantoja upset Mexican Brandon Moreno to be topped new UFC flyweight champion by way of break up determination in a bout that went the complete 5 rounds.
Earlier, Australia’s former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was upset by South African Dricus Du Plessis by way of TKO in a battle to grow to be No.1 contender to face champion Israel Adesanya.
Whittaker, in his first bout in practically 12 months, was break up open by an elbow in spherical one and surprised by a straight proper in spherical two, with the South African teeing off on the fence earlier than the referee stopped the battle.
Du Plessis prolonged his longest energetic win streak within the division to 6 and traded verbal barbs contained in the octagon with Adesanya following the battle.
New Zealander Dan Hooker gained by way of break up determination in his light-weight bout in opposition to American Jalin Turner in a brutal three rounds.
The Kiwi survived a robust excessive kick from Turner that lower him open mid-way by way of the second spherical earlier than the bell saved his opponent from a rear-naked choke.
Hooker battered Turner within the third and stored him on the mat previous to the ultimate bell ringing.
Within the undercards, Australian Jimmy Crute misplaced by way of guillotine submission to Alonzo Menifield.
Menifield thwarted Crute’s tried take down in spherical two and obtained beneath his neck, with the Aussie tapping out practically immediately.
The quickest battle of UFC290 went to Brazilian Denis Gomes who gained by way of TKO in opposition to Yazmin Jauregui in 20 seconds.
Australian Related Press