UFC 290 .. Rodriguez loses against Volkanovski via TKO in the third round
At 4 minutes and 19 seconds into the third round of UFC 290 on Saturday night, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski successfully defended his title by scoring a technical knockout victory against Yair Rodriguez.
Alexander Volkanovski wins the featherweight championship
Rodriguez was the interim champion when Volkanovski briefly moved up to lightweight, but the Australian left little question who the stronger fighter was by increasing his record to 26-2 in what was meant to be a five-round match. The fight was originally slated to take place at lightweight.
Volkanovski expressed his sentiments by saying, "There was some fear... knowing how dangerous he was." "That is the straightforward truth. I stored away in my brain. Because I have a great deal of respect for him, I decided to change things up this week. I may now call myself a winner. I am the most powerful member in this section. No one's ever stopped me."
One of those there was Donald Trump, who had previously served as president and is now seeking the candidacy for the Republican Party in 2024. Shortly before the beginning of the main program, he entered the stadium, and as he walked in beside the President of the UFC, Dana White, the audience at T-Mobile Arena erupted in applause. Maxx Crosby, a great defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders and a huge UFC fan, was seated behind Trump and Trump shook hands with him. In addition, Jamal Murray, a member of the NBA champion Denver Nuggets, sat on the court.
Near the two-minute mark of the first round, Volkanovski put Rodriguez (16-4) to the ground and maintained him there to command the pace of the fight. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Volkanovski was a minus-390 favorite in this fight. This became a recurring motif as the second round played out in a manner that was quite similar to the first round. Volkanovski, who is 34 years old, also delivered multiple shots to Rodriguez's face throughout this round.
Pantoja knocks out Rodriguez to claim Moreno's title.
Rodriguez, who is originally from Mexico, then took the fight to Volkanovski in the third round and put him on the defensive by preventing ground and pound with a flurry of kicks But with one minute remaining, Volkanovski pushed Rodriguez, 30, onto the mat and proceeded to punch him with rights and lefts until the referee, Herb Dean, intervened.
This was Volkanovski's first fight since his last bout, which took place on February 11 and ended with him losing by unanimous decision to lightweight champion lightweight Islam Makhachev That put an end to Volkanovski's winning run of 22 fights, and after a temporary promotion to lightweight weight class, he returned to the featherweight division for this bout.
Moreno, who entered the fight as a minus-196 favorite, won the second round convincingly but struggled to defend against Pantoja's ground game in the last four rounds. Despite this, the fight was very balanced for the most part, and the amount of blood that was on the faces of both combatants demonstrated how aggressively they pursued their opponent.
Moreno has held the title since he won it little under a year ago, and he successfully defended it in January.
After knocking out Niko Price in only 38 seconds of the first round of their welterweight fight, Robbie Lawler, who was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame on Thursday, goes into retirement on a high note.
Lawler, who is now 41 years old, finishes his career with a record of 30-16 and one no-contest. After the match, he was moved to tears while seeing a video homage to him, and the audience responded by roaring and screaming his first name.
Lawler said that it had been a challenging training camp. "None of it was pleasant. Today was the first day in which I really felt my best.