Alex Volkanovski views UFC 290 opponent Yair Rodriguez as a “much bigger threat” than Ilia Topuria

By Harry Kettle - June 28, 2023

Alex Volkanovski has explained why he considers Yair Rodriguez to be a bigger threat than Ilia Topuria as the division continues to heat up.

Alexander Volkanovski, Yair Rodriguez

Next month at UFC 290, Alex Volkanovski will defend his UFC featherweight championship against Yair Rodriguez. It will serve as a unification bout, given that Rodriguez is currently the interim champ.

However, despite the excitement surrounding the match-up, many are still focused on Ilia Topuria. The Georgian-Spanish star put on quite the show last weekend, dominating Josh Emmett in a one-sided affair. It was easily the biggest win of his career thus far and, unsurprisingly, he’s starting to think about a title shot.


Volkanovski, of course, has to stay focused on the dangerous Mexican contender ahead of him. During a recent interview, though, he did take some time to speak about Topuria’s success.

“I’m hearing a lot of people mentioning other guys, Ilia fighting other guys – I’m like, ‘No,'” Volkanovski said. “Don’t do it. Just give me a guy. Give me a contender. To be honest, I’m not going to say too much. I think he’s a good fighter. But the more I speak, the less I’m going to hype up the fight. I think he’s great.”

Volkanovski praises Rodriguez

“I think it’s a great fight and that would work well on some people, but won’t work well on others,” Volkanovski said. “I want (new) guys. I want to be active. I was at a stage where I was like, ‘Give me the No. 1 guy.’ We’ve sort of cleared them. Everyone’s raving on about this guy. I’ve got Yair to worry about. I’ll worry about that first, because I see him as a much bigger threat than Ilia. I’ll make sure I go out there and do my business, and if that’s on the cards – again, I want to be active.”

Quotes via MMA Junkie

Do you agree with Alex Volkanovski? Let us know, BJPENN Nation!


Alex Volkanovski Ilia Topuria UFC Yair Rodriguez