Yair Rodriguez wants a direct shot at the UFC featherweight title – not the interim.
With champion Alexander Volkanovski (25-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC) looking to move up in weight and challenge newly crowned lightweight champ Islam Makhachev, numerous top 145-pounders have been vying for a title shot.
Among them is Rodriguez (14-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC), who defeated Brian Ortega by TKO due to injury in July. “El Pantera” reminded Volkanovski of their conversation in JUly at UFC 277 and is ready to challenge him at UFC 284 on Feb. 11 in Perth, Australia.
“Hey @alexvolkanovski Are you a man of your word? We had a talk in Dallas. Everyone knows I’m next #perth #australia.”
— Yair Rodriguez (@panteraufc) November 4, 2022
Rodriguez’s finish of Ortega wasn’t a definitive one, but neither was Arnold Allen’s over Calvin Kattar this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 213. Allen also scored a TKO win due to injury after Kattar injured his knee and couldn’t continue. Josh Emmett is also in the running, but his controversial split decision win over Kattar has put the division in a quandary.
However, despite the hungry contenders in the division, four-time defending champ Volkanovski is still eyeing Makhachev. As soon as Makhachev submitted Charles Oliveira at UFC 280, he issued a challenge to Volkanovski at UFC 284 in February.
Are you a man of your word? @MAKHACHEVMMA? 🇦🇺 Let’s make it happen! ✍️ #UFC284
— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) November 4, 2022
The second I receive the paper, I will sign it, don’t worry ✏️ enjoy your P4P first spot for now 😉
The second I receive the paper, I will sign it, don’t worry ✏️ enjoy your P4P first spot for now 😉 https://t.co/7J4kUCKuE5
— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) November 4, 2022