Initially opening as a betting favorite to successfully unify the featherweight titles against interim gold holder, Yair Rodríguez at UFC 290 next month, fellow divisional champion, Alexander Volkanovski is hotly closing as a betting favorite to defeat the Mexican in July.

Volkanovski, a former undisputed featherweight titleholder, will attempt to land undisputed status during International Fight Week next month – taking on interim gold holder, Rodríguez at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Suffering his first promotional loss back in February in his pursuit of duel-weight champion status, Volkanovski dropped a close, competitive unanimous decision loss to Russian standout, Islam Makhachev in the pair’s undisputed championship fight in Perth, Australia in the main event of UFC 284. 

As for Rodríguez, in the night’s co-headliner, the Chihuahua native landed interim gold with a stunning victory against Josh Emmett – submitting the featherweight knockout artist with a brutal second round triangle choke submission success. 

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And initially opening as a betting favorite to defeat Rodríguez and successfully unify the featherweight titles at UFC 290, Volkanovski is currently sitting as a -435 betting favorite to defeat Rodríguez, with the interim champion sitting as a +350 betting underdog.

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25-2 as a professional, prior to his lightweight division loss to Makhachev on home soil back in February, Volkanovski would land a whopping 12 consecutive triumphs at the featherweight limit en route to eventual championship success.

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Winning spoils in December 2019 in a title fight with Max Holloway, Volkanovski would then successfully defend the featherweight crown against the Hawaiian in two further fights, as well as securing wins against Brian Ortega, and Chan Sung Jung during his reign as divisional kingpin.

A former pound-for-pound number one ranked fighter under the promotion’s banner, New South Wales native, Volkanvoski landed wins over the likes of former title challenger, Chad Mendes, and inaugural divisional champion, Jose Aldo en route to his championship win over Holloway in 2019. 

15-3(1) as a professional, Mexican striker, Rodríguez has only suffered Octagon blemishes against former champions, Frankie Edgar during his initial featherweight rise, as well as the above-mentioned common-foe, Holloway – the latter of which in November 2021. 

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In the midst of a two-fight winning run, Rodríguez submitted the above-noted, Emmett to secure interim division spoils, having previously emerged with a TKO win against common-opposition, Ortega in the main event of UFC Fight Night Long Island last year after the latter suffered a shoulder injury following an opening round submission attempt. 

Landing six straight victories before his loss to Edgar, Rodríguez has defeated the likes of Andre Fili, Dan Hooker, former undisputed welterweight and lightweight champion, B.J. Penn, as well as Jeremy Stephens, and the aforenoted, Jung during his time at the featherweight limit. In his promotional debut, Rodríguez landed The Ultimate Fighter Latin America tournament win, landing a unanimous decision win over Leonardo Morales in 2014.