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Yair Rodriguez to UFC champ Alexander Volkanovski: 'Are you a man of your word?'

Yair Rodriguez does not want an interim shot; he wants a direct shot at the UFC featherweight gold.

Numerous top 145-pounders have been competing for a championship chance as champion Alexander Volkanovski looks to climb up the weight division and battle newly minted lightweight champ Islam Makhachev.

One of them is Rodriguez, who in July defeated Brian Ortega through TKO as a result of an injury. Volkanovski was reminded by "El Pantera" of their talk from UFC 277 in July, and he is prepared to take him on at UFC 284 on February 11 in Perth, Australia. He also then inquired as to "The Great's" character as a "man of his word."

The argument on Twitter escalated as a result of the post made by the current UFC featherweight champion to Makhachev to implore him to "make it happen" and if he was a "man of his word," prompting Makhachev to respond with the callout.

Rodriguez's defeat of Ortega was not a decisive one, just as Arnold Allen's victory over Calvin Kattar at UFC Fight Night 213 this past Saturday wasn't either. After Kattar hurt his knee and was unable to continue, Allen also prevailed via technical knockout. Although Josh Emmett is also a contender, the division is at a loss because of his contentious victory over Kattar in a split decision.

Despite the competitive rivals in the division, Volkanovski, the four-time defending champion, is still interested in Makhachev. After Makhachev defeated Charles Oliveira by submission at UFC 280, he challenged Volkanovski to a fight at UFC 284 in February.

The 34-year-old, who was watching UFC 280, entered the octagon after Makhachev called him out and agreed to compete against the Dagestani for the lightweight title and the P4P number one place.

Dana White appeared to support the idea of Volkanovski moving up a division to compete for the lightweight title during the UFC 280 post-fight news conference. The UFC president offered his thoughts on Makhachev's potential following opponent, saying:

"Obviously, looks like Volkanovski's next... He never ceases to amaze me"

The timing of Rodriguez's call-out is noteworthy because everything points to "The Great" taking up Makhachev next. It is uncertain whether the UFC will soon schedule a matchup between Rodriguez and the current featherweight champion.


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