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UFC betting sites have Volkanovski as a -370 fave. Following a short stint in the lightweight division, Alexander Volkanovski will be returning to defend the featherweight title versus interim champion Yair Rodriguez.

The 5-round title bout will be taking place at UFC 290 in Las Vegas. It is going to be the culmination of International Fight Week on July 8. This UFC 290 card is stacked, so also be on the lookout for a flyweight championship fight pitting Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja, as well as No. 1 contender match between Rob Whittaker and Dricus Du Plessis.

UFC 290 Odds by BetOnline

Fighter Odds
Yair Rodriguez +270
Alexander Volkanovski -370

Betting Yair Rodriguez

Josh Emmett is nowhere near as talented as Volkanovski but as a modest comparison. Like Volk, Emmett is mainly a grappler, although he packs more power, while the champion is a lot quicker. After Rodriguez dissected Emmett for the interim title at UFC 284, he laid the groundwork for how to defeat Volkanovski.

“El Pantera” went to town on Emmett with slashing kicks, which counteracted the American’s power and had him wincing in pain. When Emmett connected a takedown, Yair remained active, rattling off several upward elbows with lethal precision.

Yair Rodriguez could beat by playing to the strengths he has over his smaller foe, which means spinning, throwing rangy strikes and good offense and jiu-jitsu off of his back.

Betting Alexander Volkanovski

Rodriguez is not at all unlike Max Holloway as far as size, style, and cardio. Alexander Volkanovski defeated Holloway on three occasions, and he can resort to some of the same tactics to beat Rodriguez at UFC 290. “Alexander The Great” kept going backward during most of his third fight with Holloway at UFC 276, but that didn’t restrict his offense.

The 34-year-old fought back with a powerful jab and a few one-two combinations. His most lethal work took place on the exits. When the two fighters were close to each other, Volkanovski returned an explosive hook or an uppercut.

Like most Mexican brawlers, Rodriguez will turn on the heat. Volk is not impervious to damage, but he’s a tough nut to crack nonetheless. He will win this fight by turning Rodriguez’s pressure against him
and delivering timely combos.

Pick: Rodriguez delivers the pain with his nonstop pressure, and he’s a lot of fun to watch. Taking into consideration this fight’s aggressive tenor and the 5-round format, we expect things to wrap up within the distance.

We will take the Australian to win by KO/TKO/SUB for added value because Volkanovski has a flawless track record of being slippery and devastating lengthier, whippier foes.

In spite of having lost twice to Pantoja before in his career (one in UFC, and the other in TUF), the champion Moreno is a -200 favorite at the best online sportsbooks.

Pantoja vs. Moreno – UFC 290 Odds by BetOnline

Fighter Odds
Alexandre Pantoja +165
Brandon Moreno -210

Betting Alexandre Pantoja

“The Cannibal” has been Moreno’s best noir. He beat the Mexican first on Season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter (that was a second-round submission), and once again at a Fight Night event in 2018 (that was a decision win).

Pantoja can explode into offensive flurries, but he defeated Moreno in 2018 by sticking to the basics. Moreno’s dancing motion was effective against him because the Brazilian employed straight punches, knees and leg kicks to counter Moreno’s loopy shots.

It’s a wonder that Moreno survived the 2018 fight. Pantoja obliterated him; he busted open his nose and whipped him for three straight rounds. Moreno has improved a lot ever since — his defense is a lot better — but he continues to have some of the same flaws in his game.

Brandon has a tendency to drop his hands after he strikes, and that exposes him to hard counters. Pantoja is more powerful than “The Assassin Baby” and, in our opinion, has a more dangerous mat game. The Brazilian will win by going to the same well that he went to in 2018, with an emphasis on pummeling Moreno on the feet.

Betting Brandon Moreno

Keep Pantoja moving. Brandon Moreno is the king of cardio, and following his tetralogy with Deiveson Figueiredo, he has learned a few things about preserving energy. This gives us tons of confidence in the champion.

Moreno can tire Pantoja out if he forces him on his heels and resorts to clinches or dirty boxing. Moreno has wild energy in the cage, and Pantoja might very well be gassing out by the fourth. The Brazilian has never gone five rounds in the UFC. Moreno on the other hand has gone the full 25 minutes two times in his career.

Pick: Moreno within the distance.

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