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Alexander Volkanovski calls shot against Yair Rodriguez after final UFC 290 faceoff: ‘I’m going to squash him’

After the final faceoffs on Friday, there’s nothing left for Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez to do but get in the octagon and fight.

Volkanovski and Rodriguez headline Saturday’s UFC 290 event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Their bout serves as the second of two title fights following the flyweight championship co-main event between Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja.

The 145-pound champion and interim champ went face-to-face one last time at Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins before speaking to Joe Rogan. As they’ve done all week, both men kept things very respectful, but the champion promises a switch will be flipped when the cage door shuts.

“It’s been very respectful [on both sides],” Volkanovski told Rogan. “I’ve been giving him respect, saying he’s dangerous, but all of that s*** stops tomorrow. Tomorrow, I’m going out there, I’m going to squash him. And still, baby. Let’s go.”

“Thank you to the Mexican fans,” Rodriguez said. “We’re not just helping to build the sport together, but we’re helping to change lives here. I don’t have anything to say about my opponent, everybody knows he’s f****** great, and we’re going to do a f****** great job tomorrow night. So, just wait for that. Thank you, [Alexander], again.”

Co-headliners Moreno and Pantoja have a history, with the challenger holding two dominant wins over the champion.

Years later, neither fighter is remembering the past meeting; instead, it’s all about Saturday night, with UFC gold on the line.

“Me and my family made a lot of sacrifices for this moment,” Pantoja said. “Now it’s time to enjoy, make the best fight for everybody. I know this is going to be a war.”

“I don’t even think about the past,” Moreno said. “I’m just focused again on a long, amazing night for the Mexican fans, for all of my people. Viva Mexico.”

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