Reigning featherweight kingpin Alexander Volkanovski explains what makes Yair Rodriguez fight at UFC 290 so 'Exciting'

Alexander Volkanovski is relishing the chance to ‘systematically’ break Yair Rodriguez down.

For his second UFC assignment of the year, reigning featherweight kingpin Alexander Volkanovski will be returning to his divisional home.

The Australian opened his account for 2023 by shooting for two-division glory at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia, this past February. There, he narrowly fell short of champ-champ status against Islam Makhachev, who defended his belt on the scorecards.

Given the close nature of the contest, many called for an immediate rematch. But unwilling to wait until the planned Abu Dhabi-held pay-per-view in October, Alexander Volkanovski is heading back to 145 pounds to unify the straps against interim titleholder Yair Rodríguez.

While it’s not the quick second shot at adding another piece of gold to his trophy cabinet that he’d targeted, Volkanovski won’t be short on excitement leading into the UFC 290 main event this July.

Alexander Volkanovski Describes Appeal Of Facing ‘Dangerous’ Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290

Throughout his reign, Alexander Volkanovski has showed a desire to chase the toughest tests, insisting that big challenges excite him. And a tough task is exactly what he expects when he shares the Octagon with ‘El Pantera” later this summer.

During a recent appearance on The MMA Fan Podcast, the featherweight kingpin explained what makes his scheduled date in the cage with unique and eccentric striker Rodríguez so appealing.

“You need to be on. You need to be defensively aware. He’s very unpredictable. You can’t just sit there and let him do his thing,” Alexander Volkanovski said. “He’d be up there with some of the most dangerous fighters in the UFC. But at the same time, my style is about making people fight my fight, and I’m usually pretty defensively aware. You’ve just gotta be clever with it… People look for easier challengers just so they can get more wins. For me, yeah, you want rubies, you want those defenses… but I want the bigger fights, the dangerous fights that excite you. I want to be excited when we’re breaking someone down.

“He is dangerous. you don’t know what’s coming, whether it’s a spin kick, axe kick… tools from anywhere… I gotta use that fight IQ and really systematically break him down, which excites me,” Alexander Volkanovski continued. “There is method to the madness. In a lot of the crazy, unpredictable things he’s doing, it’s still calculated. An unpredictable, dangerous, calculated fighter is obviously a dangerous fighter. So you gotta respect that. Like I said, it’s exciting.”

Although known for consistently displaying his flashy and eyebrow-raising work on the feet, the Mexican interim champ will no doubt need to be at his best to utilize it against Volkanovski, who has gained a reputation as an expert when it comes to shutting down his opposition’s offense.

We’ll find out which man implements their distinct strategies best come fight night at T-Mobile Arena on July 8.

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