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‘Sad’ Yair Rodriguez reacts to Alex Volkanovski injury ahead of UFC 290 — ‘I want him to be 100 percent’

*** HIGHLIGHTS! Watch Volkanovski Stop Rodriguez Here!!! ***

Yair Rodriguez wants full credit for defeating Alexander Volkanovski in the UFC 290 pay-per-view (PPV) main event this Sat. night (July 8, 2023) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and hopes fickle fight fans won’t diminish his accomplishment by blaming the fresh cut on his opponent’s face.

A cut that could get very easily be opened up, leading to a potential doctor’s stoppage.

LIVE! Watch UFC 293 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

MASSIVE MIDDLEWEIGHT MATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Sydney, Australia, for the first time in five years on Sat., Sept. 9, 2023, with a 185-pound world title fight inside Qudos Bank Arena. In the ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight roost-ruler, Israel Adesanya, plans to silence No. 5-seeded contender, Sean Strickland. In UFC 293’s hard-hitting Heavyweight co-main event, No-6-ranked fan favorite, Tai Tuivasa, locks horns with towering Russian, Alexander Volkov (No. 8).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“Ah, f—k man, that makes me sad,” Rodriguez told FOX Sports. “It makes me sad because when I get this win I don’t want people saying he was cut or whatever. I want him to be 100 percent. But I don’t think it will be much of a problem for him. It could play to my advantage, of course, but there are a lot of things we go through leading into a fight and he’s going to be ready. So I’m not going to be looking for that specific spot to hit on his face.”

Volkanovski will be defending his featherweight strap against Rodriguez, the current interim 145-pound titleholder, but does not expect the “little scratch” — incurred during a late grappling session ahead of UFC 290 — to play a significant factor in his performance, mostly because of its location below the eye.

“There’s no stress, this is my look now,” Volkanovski said after showing up for UFC 290 fight week with a bandage across his face. “There’s obviously a little scratch but not stitches. You know what, having more attention to the cut is probably a good thing, because if he wants to focus on that, at the end of the day it will end up worse for him. So he can target it but it’s under the eye anyway. So there will be no drama at all. It’s all good.”

We’ll find out this weekend in “Sin City.”

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 290 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard bouts on ABC/ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 290: “Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the updated and finalized UFC 290 fight card and PPV lineup click here.

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