Yair Rodriguez issued a challenge to Alexander Volkanovski, who holds the title of the current featherweight division; however, Volkanovski is not interested in facing Yair soon enough.
𝙀𝙓𝘾𝙄𝙏𝙀𝙈𝙀𝙉𝙏 𝙊𝙑𝙀𝙍𝙇𝙊𝘼𝘿 💯%
— UFC on TNT Sports (@ufcontnt) February 13, 2023
At the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia, the main event of UFC 284 featured a fight between Makhachev and Volkanovski. Yair Rodrguez won the interim featherweight championship title after defeating Joshua Emmett in the featherweight bout of UFC284.
El Pantera was expected to win against Joshua and earn the interim featherweight title, gladly he did not disappoint his fans and on top of it instantly challenged the current number one in the division in the post-fight interview.
— MMA Mania (@mmamania) February 13, 2023
The goal of the Mexican boxer right now is to become the undisputed 145-pound champion, and he wants to accomplish this goal by defeating Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski in a title unification fight in Mexico City.
During the post-fight press conference, Yair stated that he has previously discussed the fight option with Volkanovski’s manager in Dallas and that the manager is optimistic about the bout.
”I want to ask the UFC to take this belt, this championship fight to Mexico City in September whenever they open the UFC performance institute, so we can do it there,” said Rodriguez.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) February 14, 2023
Alexander Volkanovski, who was defeated by Islam Makhachev at the same event, has issued a threat to the other competitors in the featherweight division and also in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour gave Yair a response to his bout challenge.
“We don’t want to hold divisions up and he’s gonna be the guy looking after that while I’m gone…he can hold that until I’m there…whatever decision we make is going to be ‘Okay, there’s no reason this needs to happen right now’, especially when that’s not how an interim work,” said Alexander.
Rodriguez is now ranked fifth in his weight class after winning against Brian Ortega and Joshua Emmett. On the other hand, Alexander is on top of the featherweight division defending his title four times against Max Holloway (2), Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung.
There’s still no word on whether Yair’s next opponent will be Max Holloway, Arnold Allen, or Alexander Volkanovski. Yair lost to Max before his back-to-back wins, and Max is scheduled to fight Arnold later this year, so a rematch between the two is unlikely. It seemed like Volkanovski was the best bet, but the Australian isn’t interested right now.