Reigning UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will return to the 145-pound division to battle newly-crowned interim titleholder Yair Rodríguez as part of the upcoming UFC 290 pay-per-view (PPV) event, locked and loaded for Sat., July 8, 2023 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That’s according to Ariel Helwani.
Volkanovski (25-2) briefly bumped up to 155 pounds in an effort to join the promotion’s “champ champ” club back in February; however, Islam Makhachev proved too formidable an obstacle to overcome and “The Great” had to settle for a unanimous decision loss.
As for Rodriguez (15-3, 1 NC), he captured the substitute strap on the same UFC 284 fight card in Perth, dispatching featherweight slugger Josh Emmett with a second-round triangle choke submission. “El Pantera” has won two straight and three of his last four.
Volkanovski vs. Pantera will be contested across five championship rounds.
UFC 290, part of International Fight Week, does not yet have a headlining act but the promotion is actively working to secure a heavyweight title fight between reigning division champion Jon Jones and former 265-pound titleholder Stipe Miocic.