HomeUFCUFC 290: Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez - Featherweight Championship Fight Preview

UFC 290: Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez – Featherweight Championship Fight Preview

Get a preview of the UFC 290 featherweight championship fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez. Check out predictions and betting advice from expert Kyle Marley.

Key Points
UFC 290: Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez – Featherweight Championship Fight Preview
Volkanovski’s Dominance and Rodriguez’s Formidable Challenge
Predictions and Betting Advice from MMA Expert Kyle Marley
Whittaker vs. Du Plessis Middleweight Battle

The UFC featherweight championship will be on the line on Saturday when defending champion Alexander Volkanovski faces interim champion Yair Rodriguez in the main event of UFC 290. The main UFC 290 fight card starts 10 p.m. ET from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Volkanovski’s Dominance

Since turning pro in 2012, Volkanovski has been a dominant figure. He has compiled a 25-2 record, going 12-1 in the UFC, and is unbeaten at the featherweight division at 10-0. He has been at the head of the division since defeating Max Holloway by unanimous decision at UFC 245 in December 2019 and has successfully defended his crown four times. His 10 wins in a row at featherweight are the longest active streak in the division.

Rodriguez’s Formidable Challenge

Rodriguez is a formidable opponent, having won three of his last four bouts, including two in a row. Since turning pro in October 2011, he has compiled a 16-3-1 mark, including 10-2-1 in the UFC. He has won six matches by knockout, five of those coming in the first round. He uses an array of punches and kicks, which have been hard to duplicate.

Predictions and Betting Advice

Before finalizing any UFC 290 picks, make sure you check out the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Kyle Marley. Marley won the first-ever ‘ToutMaster’ UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event. Over the past three-plus years, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up nearly $11,000. The accomplished MMA analyst has provided consistent winners for SportsLine members for the past four years. His accomplishments include hitting five consecutive main-event underdog winners in 2020 following the UFC’s brief pause in action because of the pandemic. Anyone who has followed him is way up. Now, with UFC 290: Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez in sight, Marley has studied the card from top to bottom and revealed his top picks and best bets. You can only see Marley’s MMA picks at SportsLine.

Whittaker vs. Du Plessis

One of Marley’s top UFC 290 picks: He is backing Robert Whittaker (-380) to defeat Dricus Du Plessis (+300) in a battle of middleweights. Whittaker, 32, is 25-6 as a professional, including 15-4 in UFC. He has registered 10 wins by KO/TKO with five wins coming by submission. He has two first-round finishes and is the former UFC middleweight champion. He has won four of his last five bouts and is 13-2 in his last 15. Du Plessis, 29, has compiled a 19-2 record as a professional, including 5-0 in the UFC. He has eight wins by KO/TKO and 10 by submission. He is on a seven-fight winning streak and is 15-1 in his past 16 bouts. He is averaging 6.72 significant strikes landed per minute, best in UFC middleweight history with a minimum five fights. He has a 2.99 strike differential, also best in UFC middleweight history. ‘(Du Plessis) can keep this fight close with volume. He has big power, and he can mix in takedowns. I do think he can keep the fight much closer than these odds indicate and I wouldn’t want to trust the judges holding a -380 Whittaker ticket if this does go the distance. At these odds it’s dog or pass on the ML for me, but Whittaker is the better fighter, and I will take him to win two or all three rounds,’ Marley told SportsLine.

For the full UFC 290 fight card, predictions, and best bets, check out the SportsLine article.