UFC 290 First Look: Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez Betting Picks, Odds, and Predictions

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Our Top Betting Pick for UFC 290

UFC Pick: Over 4½ Rounds -115 at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Over 4½ Rounds -115
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The Ultimate Fighting Championship is back in Vegas for a huge pay-per-view event at the T-Mobile Arena, and we’re covering all your betting needs for the evening’s main event.

The most dominant featherweight in recent history, Alexander Volkanovski, returns to defend his crown for the fourth time. Still, he’s faced with a highly touted kickboxer in Yair Rodriguez, that’s guaranteed to deliver fireworks in the octagon.

Read on for our complete betting guide with an early preview of the UFC 290 main event clash between Volkanovski and Rodriguez, including updated UFC odds and our free expert UFC first look betting picks, predictions, and analysis.

Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez Key Facts

  • Volkanovski is undefeated in the featherweight division (11-0).
  • Before his previous bout, Volkanovski had a 22-fight win streak since 2013.
  • Rodriguez has lost 2 of his previous 6 bouts in the 145 lb weight class.

UFC 290 Information

  • When: Saturday, July 8, 2023 – 06:00 PM EDT
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena, Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Scheduled Bouts: 14
  • Main Event: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Yair Rodriguez
  • Moneyline Probability: Volkanovski – 78.9% (-375) Rodriguez – 24.7% (+305)

UFC 290 Main Event: Tale of the Tape

Alexander Volkanovski

He’s en route to becoming UFC's most dominant featherweight competitor. With four title defenses thus far and a 10-fight win streak at 145 lbs since making his debut in 2014, Alexander Volkanovski has torn through the competition and almost cleared out the division.

Finding challengers to give Volkanovski a run for his money has been difficult. He recently suffered his first UFC defeat when moving up to compete against the lightweight division's champ, Islam Makhachev. Still, during his short absence from the featherweight weight class, a fresh body emerged as the No.1 contender.

Volkanovski Combat Sports Accomplishments

  • UFC Featherweight Champion (One time, four defenses, current)
  • UFC Fight of the Night (Three times)
  • UFC Performance of the Night (One time)
  • Second longest win streak in UFC Featherweight division history (10)
  • Second, most title fight wins in UFC Featherweight division history (5)
  • Highest striking differential in UFC Featherweight division history (3.12)

Volkanovski Best Moneyline Odds: -375 at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

Yair Rodriguez

While expected, it has taken Mexico’s Yair Rodriguez longer than anticipated to reach the featherweight division’s No.1 ranking position. Setbacks, including a fractured ankle, were out of his control. But finally, after eight years, countless highlight reel moments, and an impressive 10-2 record competing amongst the UFC elite, he’s reached the division's summit to challenge for the gold.

Two past defeats versus former champions Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar aren’t the best reflection of Rodriguez’s title hopes. However, aged just 30 years old, he’s unquestionably evolved and learned from those losses and is certainly a striking purist capable of giving Volkanovski a test in the kickboxing realm.

Rodriguez Combat Sports Accomplishments

  • UFC Interim Featherweight Champion (One time, current)
  • The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America Tournament Winner
  • UFC Fight of the Night (Five times)
  • UFC Performance of the Night (Four times)
  • Tied for most post-fight bonuses in UFC Featherweight history (9)

Rodriguez Best Moneyline Odds: +305 at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

UFC 290 Skillset Analysis: Styles Make Fights

Both competitors for this weekend’s main event own identical bases: they love to strike. However, it could be argued that their kickboxing styles are polar opposites. Volkanovski’s all about volume, close-knit boxing with regular movement and leg strikes from the outside, whereas Rodriguez is unpredictable with his arsenal.

If nine post-fight bonuses from the twelve bouts he’s competed in during his UFC tenure isn’t enough to convince you Rodriguez is an entertainer, I don’t know what is. With that said, the flashy strikes and risky attempts previously made by the Mexican will have a difficult time versus the defenses of his Aussie opposition.

Volkanovski can introduce a wrestling game plan, which would ultimately drain Rodriguez's hype and finishing potential. I expect the champ to defend his title successfully; his fight intelligence, cardio, and volume will be too much for the challenger, but I don’t believe a fight-ending moment will surface.

The UFC 290 Best Bet Formula

The available UFC odds at the best US sportsbooks have Volkanovski as a significant betting favorite, and rightfully so. Rodriguez has great potential to become a champion, but unfortunately, Volkanovski is too dominant in multiple facets and hasn’t even hinted at retirement.

The moneyline price is juiced, but the over is live. 50% of Rodriguez’s UFC bouts went the distance, and 5 of the 6 championship bouts Volkanovski has been involved in have gone the distance. Furthermore, Volkanovski has never been stopped via KO/TKO or submission. And Rodriguez owns a noteworthy durability, having been stopped on just one occasion in 18 pro bouts – a doctor’s stoppage.

UFC Pick: Over 4½ Rounds -115 at Heritage Sports [1.15u to win 1u]

UFC 290 Main Card & Odds

UFC 290 Preliminary Card & Odds

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.