Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez facing off before the UFC 290 fight show. Source: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez facing off before the UFC 290 fight show. Source: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

UFC 290: Fights for Flyweight and Featherweight Supremacy

UFC Dins Davids Ozols 08.07.2023

A promising and MMA star-studded UFC 290 event will descend on the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas early tomorrow morning. Two captivating world championship bouts will headline this fight show. Namely, Alexander Volkanovski will be defending his Featherweight title against Yair Rodríguez, while Brandon Moreno will seek revenge in his Flyweight title defense against Alexandre Pantoja. Let’s find out more about both main duels of the event, shall we?

Volkanovski vs Rodríguez

In the highly anticipated main event, reigning Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski from Australia will face the interim titleholder, Yair Rodriguez. The 34-year-old Volkanovski needs no introduction as he has been dominating the division for years and currently boasts an impressive 25-2-0 record. With each fight, he is inching closer to solidifying his legacy as one of the best 145-pound fighters in UFC history.

With victories over renowned names like Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo, and Max Holloway (three times!), Volkanovski has proven his mettle time and again. A win over Rodriguez would not only strengthen his claim to the best-ever Featherweight but also potentially set the stage for a rematch with lightweight king Islam Makhachev to whom the Aussie suffered a rare loss in February this year.

However, Rodríguez is no ordinary opponent. Known for his explosive strikes and unshakable confidence, the Mexican has displayed his potential against some famous names as well. His latest octagon encounters include a closely contested loss to Max Holloway, followed by wins over Brian Ortega and Josh Emmett, the latter of which earned him the interim champion belt. “El Pantera” currently sits on a 16-3-0 (1NC) record.

Moreno vs Pantoja

In the co-main event, Flyweight champion Brandon Moreno (21-6-2) seeks redemption as he faces Alexandre Pantoja (25-5-0) in a highly anticipated rematch. Pantoja holds two victories over Moreno, including a submission win during their encounter on “The Ultimate Fighter” fight show.

However, Moreno’s recent journey has seen tremendous growth and accomplishments, including capturing the Flyweight title. In his historic quadrilogy against Deiveson Figueiredo, in which Moreno won twice, lost once, and scored a draw, the Mexican fighter showcased his ability to handle overwhelming aggression and make mid-fight adjustments.

Meanwhile, Pantoja enters the bout on a three-fight win streak, determined to assert his dominance over Moreno once again. Even though the champion has grown ever since the last duel of the two, the Brazilian challenger remains a dangerous threat and might just be Moreno’s personal brand of kryptonite.

What are the odds?

UFC 290 is set to be an exhilarating event filled with high-stakes clashes and thrilling storylines. But who are the favorites to win the title fights? Here’s what the OlyBet sportsbook has to say.

Even with the unorthodox striking attack that makes Rodríguez so unique, Volkanovski is simply operating at another level when it comes to strategy and decoding his opponent’s rhythms. The featherweight champ has tremendously well-rounded skills, an elite game plan, five-round cardio, and an indomitable will, making him the complete package. Our sportsbook has him as a massive favorite in this fight, with the odds of 1.27. Meanwhile, Rodríguez is rated at 3.93.

The rematch between Moreno and Pantoja will offer an intriguing clash of styles and a chance for the Mexican to prove that the third time can indeed be the charm. It’s important to note that the 2023 version of Moreno is simply a different beast than the version Pantoja beat in 2018, and based on his growth and fight record, the defending champ is a favorite to win with the odds of 1.51, compared to Pantoja’s 2.64.

One is certain. The well-anticipated fight show will truly be a feast for every martial arts fan worldwide. Will both champions manage to retain their belts, or will we see some surprising upsets? Fortunately, we’re about to find it out very soon.

Dins Davids Ozols

Dins is a self-raised copywriter whose burning desire for punctuality and correctness of texts has combined with a lifelong passion for sports. He's on a mission to provide OlyBet.TV visitors with content on current sports events. His favorite topics include major football leagues and competitions, NBA, and UFC.