UFC 290 will conclude the UFC’s International Fight Week in 2023. The event will take place on July 8, 2023, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
A title unification bout between reigning UFC Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and interim champ Yair Rodriguez will headline the main card. It will also feature exciting fighters like Brandon Moreno, Robert Whittaker, and Bo Nikal, to name a few. So let’s take a look at the matchups and see what are some of the most exciting plays for the event.
The main event fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez is the one to watch out for. The reigning champ has decimated every challenger he has faced so far. He also seems to be the one with an overall better skillset to negate Yair’s unorthodox fighting style. The same notion reflects in the odds as Volkanovski is a massive -425 favorite over the +335 underdog Yair Rodriguez.
However, Yair has the ability to finish the fight in the blink of an eye, and the threat of a flash knockout looms large over the fight. Whether to go with a lethal finisher or rally behind a smart technician is an interesting choice that you have to make.
Will UFC 290 see Brandon Moreno get his revenge?
The co-main event of UFC 290 will feature a trilogy fight between 125 lbs king Brandon Moreno and Brazil’s own Alexandre Pantoja. The duo have fought each other twice already and it was Pantoja that got his hand raised on both occasions. While both of them have improved significantly since then, the oddsmakers seem to believe more in the Assasin Baby’s strides. But, only slightly!
Moreno is a slight -160 favorite as on June 27. Pantoja, who is coming off a sensational submission win over Alex Perez is a +140 underdog. Will the burden of previous losses weigh over Moreno’s shoulders or will the pressure of fighting a superstar get to Pantoja? That might determine the outcome of this UFC 290 co-main event which is pretty much pick‘em at the moment.
A Middleweight title eliminator between former champ Robert Whittaker (-375 favorite) and surging South African Dricus Du Plessis (+310) at UFC 290 pretty much seems to be leaning in The Reaper’s favor. The Aussie has done exceptionally well against uber-aggressive strikers in the past.
His TKO win over Derek Brunson is a testimony to that. Whittaker is a tough nut to crack and he is still improving. We might see the former champ cruise to victory at UFC 290 much like he did against Marvin Vettori in his last outing. But there is always a possibility that Dricus Du Plessis finds Rob’s chin and does not give him an opportunity to recover.
The lightweight showdown between Jalin Turner and Dan Hooker on the UFC 290 main card has Turner as a -240 favorite over the +205 underdog Dan Hooker. Turner is coming off a loss against Mateusz Gamrot but he was riding a five-fight winning streak prior to that. Additionally, the young fighter is a rising contender in the UFC’s most stacked division while Hooker has taken a lot of damage in his 34-fight professional MMA career.
Although Dan Hooker went 2-4 in his last six fights, he secured a TKO win in his last fight against Claudio Puelles back in November 2022. A rising contender vs veteran contest, this UFC 290 fight can either breathe new life into Hooker’s career or mark a change of guard if Turner walks away with a win.
Bo Nikal, the wrestling powerhouse we are all eager to see against the Whittakers and Adesanyas of the UFC Middleweight division, will open the UFC 290 main card along with Tresean Gore. He is once again a massive -1400 favorite over the +800 underdog Gore. While it’s likely that Nickal will pretty much do what he does every time, never be too confident while betting on MMA!
UFC 290 main card will take place on July 8. Fans in India can watch it live on July 9 at 7:30 AM.