Recently awarded the No. 2 ranking among the UFC’s pound-for-pound best fighters, Alexander Volkanovski (25-1) is cementing himself as one of the most untouchable athletes in mixed martial arts.
As the saying goes, to be the best, you have to beat the best. The problem is, Volk has already destroyed every other fighter in the featherweight division, sweeping his trilogy with Max Holloway and fending off notable names such as Brian Ortega and Jose Aldo. So who will Volkanovski fight next?
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The Australian, who’s won 12 straight fights since joining the UFC, suffered a broken hand in his fight vs Holloway at UFC 276, but when he returns, he’ll be looking for some fresh blood and a tougher challenge than he’s ever faced before.
Right now, current No. 1 lightweight contender Charles Oliveira is the favorite to be Volkanovski’s next foe at +200, with Dagestani wrestler Islam Makhachev not far behind at +225.
“Alexander The Great” likes to stay active, so here’s the shakedown on the full Volkanovski next opponent odds, courtesy of Sportsbook.
Volkanovski Next Opponent Odds
Odds as of July 15 at Sportsbook
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Why Is Charles Oliveira Favored?
After losing the belt due to a failed weight cut, “Do Bronx” will fight to reclaim his lightweight title later this year vs Makhachev. It might seem strange that Oliveira (+200) leads the odds to be Volkanovski’s next opponent, but there’s plenty of logic behind that prediction.
I got the Sportsbook!! 👊 https://t.co/114JsN9BPO— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) July 16, 2022
As stated before, Volk has crushed his featherweight opponents, making it a perfect time for a jump to lightweight. The champ called out the Sportsbook of Oliveira vs Makhachev on Twitter, indicating he has an interest in moving up and that perhaps the UFC is interested in making that banger of a fight.
The odds will certainly move after the vacant UFC lightweight belt is determined, though it’s still very likely Volkanovski makes the leap to lightweight, ready to crush whoever stands between him and the rare opportunity to become double champ.
Volkanovski Next Opponent Odds: Best Bet
Yair Rodriguez (+700)
After winning his fight vs Ortega at UFC Fight Night Long Island, it’s unlikely bettors will be able to find Rodriguez at such juicy +700 value, but he’s still our best bet in the Volkanovski next opponent odds.
Between canceled bouts and injury delays, it’s taken a hot minute for “El Pantera” to earn a reputation as one of the featherweight division’s most cold-blooded killers. Rodriguez looked smooth in the moments leading up to Ortega’s shoulder dislocation and subsequent loss. The 29-year-old was the stronger fighter in his short tangle with “T-City,” using his speed and power to connect on stiff straight shots to his opponent’s chin.
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Rodriguez, who went toe to toe with Max Holloway in a recent decision loss, also has a reputation as a knockout artist, notably finishing The Korean Zombie with an upwards elbow for one of the most creative finishes in UFC history.
A matchup between Volkanovski and Rodriguez would be a fun, stylistic showdown.