UFC 290: "Volkanovski vs Rodriguez" Live Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship headed back to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada tonight for UFC 290: “Volkanovski vs Rodriguez.” The event featured a UFC Featherweight Championship showdown between Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski and interim titleholder Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez.

In the co-main event, Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno put his UFC Flyweight Championship on the line against long-time rival Alexandre “The Cannibal” Pantoja, who twice bested him in the pair’s first two meetings. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for the UFC 290 card tonight.


UFC Featherweight Championship

Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski vs Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez

Round 1:
Volkanovski blocked an early head kick from Rodriguez and he took him down after catching a body kick. Volkanovski held Rodriguez down against the base of the cage until Rodriguez worked back to his feet. Volkanovski took him down again and struck from the top in Rodriguez’s half-guard. Rodriguez got back to full guard late in the round, but Volkanovski retained top position. 10-9 Volkanovski.

Round 2:
After landing a hard right hand, Volkanovski took Rodriguez down into back control. Rodriguez scrambled up to his feet and Volkanovski tripped him again. He cut Rodriguez’s left ear with a short punch. Rodriguez stood momentarily and Volkanovski pulled him down into back control before transitioning to half-guard. Rodriguez got back to full guard, but Volkanovski was active with strikes from the top. He opened a second cut near Rodriguez’s left eye and punched from the top until the bell. 10-9 Volkanovski.

Round 3:
The third round opened with an exchange of body kicks and Volkanovski ducked under a question mark kick from Rodriguez. Soon after, Rodriguez landed a question mark kick and a follow-up right cross. Both men landed two-punch combos and Rodriguez stuffed a takedown. Time was called when the fighters clashed heads. When action resumed, Rodriguez just missed with a flying switch kick. Volkanovski countered a body kick with a right cross that hurt Rodriguez and backed him up to the cage. Volkanovski slammed Rodriguez down and stood over him while unloading rapid-fire punches until the fight was stopped.

Winner: Alexander Volkanovski by TKO (Punches) at 4:19 of round three. He improves to 26-2-0 and remains the UFC Featherweight Champion.


UFC Flyweight Championship

Alexandre “The Cannibal” Pantoja vs Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno

Round 1:
Moreno clinched and held Pantoja against the cage in the opening minute. Pantoja eventually reversed the clinch and broke free with a knee. Moreno landed a combination and Pantoja answered with a right hook. Moreno landed two jab-cross combos, but Pantoja dropped him with a left hook. He settled into Moreno’s half-guard and cut Moreno with elbows. Pantoja stood and Moreno followed. Pantoja finished a combination with a knee to the body, then followed with a leg kick and a knee. Pantoja slipped while throwing a head kick, but he rose to his feet and took Moreno’s back. 10-9 Pantoja.

Round 2:
The second round began with an exchange of left hooks and Moreno landed a series of hard jabs. He hopped on Pantoja’s back and dragged him down to the ground. Pantoja worked back to his feet and Moreno landed a combination. He continued to score with jabs and mixed in a lead left hook. Pantoja connected with a left hook of his own late in the round, but Moreno caught a kick and threw him down to the mat. 10-9 Moreno.

Round 3:
Time was called right away in round three when Moreno was kneed in the groin. The fight continued and Pantoja took Moreno’s back. He pulled him down to the mat and secured a body triangle. Pantoja worked for a rear-naked choke, but Moreno defended well and turned over into his guard. Moreno punched from the top and then stood up. He landed a series of jabs until Pantoja countered with a left hook. Moreno finished a combination with a head kick that appeared to wobble Pantoja momentarily. Pantoja rebounded with a takedown, but Moreno swept into top position and stood up again. 10-9 Moreno, just barely.

Round 4:
Both men landed punches early in the fourth round, but Pantoja followed up on a hard elbow strike by taking Moreno down into side control. Moreno got to his feet against the cage and he tried to take Pantoja down, but Pantoja sprawled and hopped on Moreno’s back. He pulled Moreno down to the mat again, but Moreno was able to turn over into Pantoja’s guard. Late in the round, the fighters stood and Moreno landed a lead elbow to Pantoja’s face. 10-9 Pantoja.

Round 5:
Moreno landed a hard left hook in round five and Pantoja responded with one of his own as the fighters traded jabs. Both men landed two more hard left hooks and Pantoja charged forward with overhand punches. Moreno landed an elbow and Pantoja took him down. As Moreno stood against the cage, Pantoja jumped on his back. He stayed there all the way until the bell. 10-9 Pantoja.

Winner: Alexandre Pantoja by Split Decision (48-47, 48-47, 46-49) after five rounds. He improves to 26-5-0 and becomes the new UFC Flyweight Champion.


Dricus “Stillknocks” Du Plessis vs Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker

Round 1:
Whittaker had early success with leg kicks and he connected with a counter right hook as Du Plessis stepped forward. Whittaker took Du Plessis down and Du Plessis stood against the cage. Whittaker avoided a right hand from Du Plessis and landed one over the top. Du Plessis landed a three-punch combo and a knee. Du Plessis took Whittaker down with a headlock throw and scored with an elbow and punches. The elbow cut Whittaker and Du Plessis hunted for a Brabo choke in the final seconds before finishing the round with punches. 10-9 Du Plessis.

Round 2:
Du Plessis landed a nice jab-cross combo in the second round. He landed two more jabs and a leg kick, then blocked a Whittaker head kick. A right hook dropped Whittaker to a knee and Du Plessis swarmed on him with punches after a wobbly Whittaker rose to his feet. Whittaker fell against the base of the cage and Du Plessis continued to punch until the fight was stopped.

Winner: Dricus Du Plessis by TKO (Punches) at 2:23 of round two. He improves to 20-2-0.


Dan “The Hangman” Hooker vs Jalin “The Tarantula” Turner

Round 1:
Hooker struck first with a leg kick and Turner landed two in response. Time was called when he was kicked in the groin. The fight continued after a minute and Turner landed a right hook. Turner threw a spinning back kick to the body and he followed up with a jab-cross combo. Hooker threw a head kick that was blocked and Turner attacked his body with a series of kicks. Turner landed two more body kicks and then a counter combination as Hooker landed a right hand. Punches were exchanged late in the round and Turner landed two left hands. 10-9 Turner.

Round 2:
Turner used his jab to set up a left cross early in round two. He landed two more punches and Hooker replied with a leg kick. Turner kicked at Hooker’s body and then rocked him with a head kick. Hooker stayed on his feet and Turner attacked with punches and a body kick. A lead right hook scored for Turner ad he attempted another head kick. Hooker landed a hard combination in the final minute and he swarmed on Turner with more punches. Hooker threw Turner to the mat and locked on a tight face crank, but Turner was saved by the bell. 10-9 Hooker due to the last-minute onslaught.

Round 3:
Hooker backed Turner up with a lead left hook and Turner used his jab to keep Hooker at bay. Hooker, bleeding from multiple cuts on his face, scored with a nice combination. Turner took him down and Hooker easily kicked Turner off. Back on the feet, Hooker backed Turner up with punches and dropped him with a right hand. He stood over Turner and then dropped down into his guard. Both men threw short punches on the ground and Turner looked to set up a triangle choke. Hooker landed more short right hands until Turner got to his feet against the cage. The fighters separated and Hooker landed a lead left hook. 10-9 Hooker.

Winner: Dan Hooker by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. He improves to 23-12-0.


Bo Nickal vs Valentine “The Animal” Woodburn

Round 1:
Heavy punches were exchanged right away and both men landed. Nickal froze Woodburn in place with a lead right hook, then followed with a left hook and an uppercut that dropped Woodburn and prompted referee Chris Tognoni to stop the fight.

Winner: Bo Nickal by TKO (Punches) at 0:38 of round one. He improves to 5-0-0.


(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)