Right from the first round the champion dominated the proceedings. Volkanovski secured a takedown, as he pressed ahead with a head and arm choke.
Some heavy ground strikes followed, as the challenger sought to keep things on his feet in a clear first round for Volkanovski. The second round was much the same.
Despite Rodriguez coming with some kicks, they didn’t penetrate Volkanovski’s superior defense. The champion got another takedown, as he leant on Rodriguez who felt the heavy weight.
And in doing so, Volkanovski landed some punishing elbows. The writing was on the wall, as the victory came in the third. Just as Rodriguez was finding some success, the challenger was countered with a right hook.
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As Rodriguez fell to the floor, the champion landed numerous blows to secure a TKO win. The victory was Volkanovski’s fifth defence, but the night was overshadowed by an injury for the champ.
“I knew he’d switch stance and the right hook would be good, I know I could go anywhere. I showed I can wrestle and strike with the rest of them.
“Sky is the limit. There’s a few options, I need surgery on my arm, camp was a struggle, I’ll get that as soon as I’m home and fight once more this year, I’ll squash Topuria and I still want that lightweight belt,” Volkanovski
Alexander Volkanovski def. Yair Rodriguez via third-round TKO
Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Moreno via a split decision: 46-49, 48-47, 48-47
Dricus Du Plessis def. Robert Whittaker via a second-round TKO
Dan Hooker def. Jalin Turner via a split decision: 29-28, 29-28, 28-29
Bo Nickal def. Val Woodburn via a first-round TKO
Robbie Lawler def. Niko Price via a first-round KO
Tatsuro Taira def. Edgar Chairez via a unanimous decision: 29-27, 29-27, 29-27
Denise Gomes def. Yazmin Jauregui via a first-round TKO
Alonzo Menifield def. Jimmy Crute via a second-round submission
Vitor Petrino def. Marcin Prachnio via a third-round submission
Cameron Saaiman def. Terrence Mitchell via a first-round TKO
Jesus Aguilar def. Shannon Ross via a first-round knockout
Esteban Ribovics def. Kamuela Kirk via a unanimous decision: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28