clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Alexander Volkanovski declares Yair Rodriguez his ‘most dangerous’ opponent: ‘Who’s more dangerous?’

UFC 284: Makhachev v Volkanovski Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

Alexander Volkanovski isn’t taking his next title challenger lightly.

UFC 290 on July 8, 2023, in Las Vegas, NV. will see UFC’s undisputed Featherweight kingpin return to his throne, defending opposite the interim titleholder, Yair Rodriguez. Volkanovski, 34, has fought a who’s who of all-time greats throughout his 27-fight career, but views “El Pantera” as his most dangerous foe yet.

“I believe so, 100 percent, I think it’s the most dangerous,” Volkanovski told FREESTYLEBENDER of his pairing with Rodriguez. “Does that make it the hardest? We will see. A lot of people will be, ‘What about Max [Holloway], what about this?’ They are different challenges, and that is the thing people have to understand. I always look at Yair as a more dangerous opponent for me than an Islam [Makhachev] because of that crazy, sporadic, always looking for a finish in the striking, and unpredictable behavior. It’s different. What’s a harder fight? I’ll probably say Islam is gonna be a harder fight. But, who’s more dangerous? I’ll say Yair is more dangerous, it excites me, he’s going to have these big threats and see how I deal with them.”

The Rodriguez match up will act as Volkanovski’s first rebound attempt in UFC and only the second of his career overall after suffering a unanimous decision loss (watch highlights) in his Lightweight title bid against Makhachev at UFC 284 earlier this year (Feb. 12, 2023). Rodriguez won the interim Featherweight title that same night in the co-main event against Josh Emmett with a second round triangle choke submission (watch highlights).

In terms of finishing abilities, Rodriguez presents a diverse arsenal for the undisputed champion, possessing five of his 15 career wins by knockout or technical knockout and four by submission.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania