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The biggest winners and losers on “Volkanovski vs Rodriguez” last night

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UFC 290 exploded from the roof of the T-Mobile Arena last night (Saturday July 8, 2023) in Las Vegas, Nevada, which saw Aleksandr Volkanovski retain his featherweight title by stopping the former interim title holder, Yair Rodriguez, in the third round by KO (see here). In the co-main event, Alexander Pantoja once again defeated Brandon Moreno, this time via split decision to become the new UFC Men’s Flyweight Champion in what was truly an instant classic (full recap here).

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Biggest Winner: Aleksander Volkanovski

Après avoir sauté dans son combat leger contre Islam Makhachev, Volkanovski is revenu à 145 lives and a rappelé à tout the monde que malgré his revers dans the category of superior poids, it is all over the gars of poids plume and is maintenant the only champion of this division. Rodriguez should have been one of the toughest tests for “The Great” yet, but the hard-hitting Australian ran with flying colors and made his fifth consecutive title defense, leaving Max Holloway in the dust as the sport’s most pen-heavyweight ever seen. . Volkanovksi is absolutely unstoppable at Featherweight and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, which means we could be in for one of the biggest title races in the history of the sport when all is said and done, right there. With Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre.

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Second place: Alexandre Pantoja and Dricos du Plessis

In one of the best fights of 2023, Brandon Moreno and Alexander Pantoja went to war for 25 minutes in a bloody brawl that saw Pantoja emerge victorious by split decision to earn his first taste of UFC gold. Pantoja is now 3-0 against Moreno and aims to start a long reign as the 125lb champion. While one of the referees didn’t know what he was looking at (see why here), Pantoja clearly won the fight with his superb grappling mixed with well-timed strikes that eventually neutralized Moreno’s flush.

Meanwhile, du Plessis stunned the fighting word with a stunning performance against former middleweight champion and fan favorite Robert Whitaker, stopping him with a second-round technical knockout (TKO) for his eighth straight win, sixth inside the octagon (see again). here). He also had a chance to face divisional champion Israel Adesanya, who demanded (and was awarded) a cage showdown against his next, potentially falling opponent at UFC 293 on September 9.

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Honorable Mention: Robbie Lawler

Very few fighters can leave the agonizing action after a long winning streak, but Lawler did just that after knocking down Nico Price in just 38 seconds into the first round in the final round of his career. Subsequently, “Ruthless” was honored at the promotion with highlighting the career of the former world welterweight champion in tears. Not a bad way to follow a 22-year career that would make him one of the best no-gloves in the UFC. From the UFC, PRIDE, Elite XC, Strikeforce, and back to the UFC, seeing Ruthless take out a knockout on a highlight reel was something everyone was hoping for.

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The Biggest Loser: Shannon Ross

While it may seem like an odd choice at first, it makes sense when you realize that Ross’ run in the UFC has been horrendous, as he was knocked out in the first round in his first two attempts indoors. octagon. After a 59-second loss to Cledson Rodriguez at UFC 284 four months ago in his debut, ‘The Turkish Delight’ suffered a 17-second knockout loss to Jesús Aguilar, who knocked out Ross in a stellar match. And when you add in the fact that Ross also went out with his fight Rivals series In August 2022, one wonders if this will be the end of his short stint in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

For the latest and greatest UFC 290: “Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez” news and notes, be sure to access our extensive event archive. here.

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