- What: UFC 290
- Main Event: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez
- Date: Saturday, July 8, 2023
- Location: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV
- Time: Early Prelims (6:00 p.m. ET) Prelims (8:00 p.m. ET) Pay-Per-View (10:00 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: Early Prelims (ESPN+), Prelims (ABC, ESPN), Main Card (ESPN+ PPV)
On Saturday, July 8, the UFC is at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the UFC 290 pay-per-view card, which streams on ESPN+ PPV. In the evening’s main event, UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski faces interim UFC 145-pound champion Yair Rodriguez in a title unification bout. Here is some background on Saturday’s UFC 290 PPV main event fighters, Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez, before we discuss the betting breakdown for the UFC 290 card.
Volkanovski has a 25-2 record with 12 knockouts, and three submission wins. The 34-year-old Australian is coming off his first loss in nearly 10 years. Volkanovski suffered a decision defeat to UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev in February. Before that loss, Volkanovski was 12-0 in the UFC with four featherweight title defenses to his name.
Rodriguez captured the interim UFC featherweight title in February with a submission win over Josh Emmett. The victory moved his record to 15-3-0-1 with five knockouts and four submissions. The 30-year-old Rodriguez, who fights out of Mexico, is 10-2-0-1 in the UFC. UFC 290 marks his first fight for the undisputed UFC featherweight title.
Before we look at the best bets for the main event of the UFC 290 PPV card between Alexander Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.
UFC Vegas 290 main event: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez betting picks
|To Win UFC 290 Main Event
UFC Vegas 290 main event: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez betting breakdown
Yair Rodriguez became the interim UFC featherweight champion on the same card where Alexander Volkanovski sought to become a two-division UFC champ. Volkanovski’s attempt to move from 145 pounds to 155 pounds and unseat the sitting UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 created the need for the interim title. Rodriguez, a member of the UFC since 2014, made the most of that opportunity.
On Saturday, Rodriguez looks to remove the interim from his champion tag, and Volkanovski looks to extend his title reign to more than three and a half years when the two 145-pounders clash in the main event of UFC 290.
Volkanovski is a measured fighter who manages distance well and has the ability to move in and out of range without much difficulty. In his fights against the 5-foot-11-inch Max Holloway, Volkanovski was the more active and accurate striker. His striking ability should carry over to this fight.
Rodriguez is a dynamic striker. His arsenal of striking techniques is deep and unpredictable. He is also an aggressive striker who takes a lot of chances. Rodriguez’s risk-taking ways can open him up to counters, but he is very good at gauging time and space and, in doing so, avoiding danger.
UFC Vegas 290 main event: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez stats breakdown
Volkanovski is six inches shorter than Rodriguez, but the two fighters have an identical 71-inch reach. As for striking, both men are high-output strikers. Volkanovski averages 6.35 significant strikes landed per minute with an accuracy of 56 percent. He absorbs 3.40 significant strikes per minute and has a defensive rate of 59 percent. As for Rodriguez, he lands 4.78 significant strikes per minute and connects at a clip of 46 percent. Rodriguez gets hit more often than Volkanovski, absorbing 4.03 strikes per minute, with a defense of 53 percent.
When it comes to grappling, Volkanovski gets the nod. He averages 1.52 takedowns per minute, as opposed to Rodriguez’s 0.79. The champ also has a higher takedown success rate than the interim titleholder, 34 percent vs. 28 percent, and his takedown defense is also higher at 69 percent vs. 63 percent.
UFC Vegas 290 main event betting picks: Who has the edge?
Volkanovski is a well-coached fighter who can make the small adjustments between rounds to stay ahead of his opponent on the scorecards. He doesn’t take risks but takes advantage of the openings his foe provides. With Rodriguez‘s, at times, reckless style, Volkanovski has the edge in this fight. That’s not to say that Rodriguez is not a game opponent. He is. One needs to look no further than his knockout of Chan Sung Jung at 4:59 of the fifth round of their fight to understand the drive of the interim champ.
Best Bets for UFC 290 main event: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez
Expect a high-paced striking battle in this UFC title fight. Yair Rodriguez is a significant betting underdog in this contest, and that fact presents some betting value. If one is leaning toward a Rodriguez upset win, the best bet for that would be a decision or surprise knockout. Volkanovski does not present betting value as a straight win wager. My betting pick is for Volkanovski to retain his title in the UFC 290 main event, and I believe he will win a decision. With that, there is value betting on the length of the fight as well as the outcome when it comes to the favored Volkanovski.
Best UFC 290 main event betting pick: Alexander Volkanovski to beat Yair Rodriguez via decision.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: