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Yair Rodriguez rooting for Alex Volkanovski to beat Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 — ‘For me, it’s better’

UFC 284 Perth Media Opportunity Photo by James Worsfold/Zuffa LLC

UFC 284 is going to be a big night for the featherweight division.

Reigning 145-pound titleholder Alex Volkanovski will jump up to the lightweight division to challenge current champion Islam Makhachev for a chance to join the coveted “champ champ” club, not long after top featherweight contenders Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett collide for the interim 145-pound strap.

Win or lose, Volkanovski is expected to return to the featherweight division relatively quickly to face the winner of Rodriguez vs. Emmett, and “Pantera” is hoping “The Great” comes home with two belts around his waist.

“For me, it’s better for Alexander Volkanovski to win because if I get to face him, it would be even a bigger challenge,” Rodriguez told MMA Junkie. “I’d be fighting the double champion, right? So for me, it’s better for him to win. I have nothing against Islam or Volkanovski – actually, quite the opposite. I have the utmost respect for them. Let the best man win. But it would be in my benefit for Alexander Volkanovski to win, obviously. Just in terms of my career, I’d like for him to win.”

Volkanovski is currently a +275 underdog on DraftKings.

The only downside to Volkanovski winning and defending both belts is that it slows the trajectory of some of the other top contenders, like No. 4-ranked Arnold Allen (featherweight) and No. 4-ranked Beneil Dariush (lightweight), who may need to wait their turns (or take additional fights) as the Aussie bounces between divisions.

To see the rest of the UFC 284 fight card and PPV lineup click here.

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