The main event of UFC 290 features a featherweight championship unification battle as reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski takes on interim champion Yair Rodriguez in the feature attraction at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Volkanovski is the longest-reigning active UFC champion, but is coming off a rare defeat after narrowly losing out to lightweight champion Islam Makhachev in his bid to become a two-division champion at UFC 284 in February. Prior to that loss at 155 pounds, the Australian had won 22 straight fights, winning the UFC featherweight title and defending it four times. Now he’s back at 145 pounds, he’ll look to make it five successful title defenses when he takes on Rodriguez, who will offer the most unorthodox, spectacular opponent of his career to date.
Mexico’s Rodriguez rose to prominence as he won The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America in 2014, but despite a string of spectacular performances, his bid to reach the top of the division was slowed with defeats to legends Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway. But, since that defeat to Holloway, Rodriguez has found another gear, and stoppage wins over Brian Ortega and Josh Emmett saw him crowned the interim featherweight champion as he earned a shot at Volkanovski this weekend.
Ahead of the bout, the UFC’s Countdown cameras caught up with both fighters, and their teams, as they made their final preparations for their pivotal matchup. Check it out via the video player below.