Alexander Volkanovski is still the undisputed UFC featherweight champion after a dominant performance against Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290. The Australian fighter stopped the Mexican challenger with a barrage of punches in the third round, earning his third title defense and his 26th win in 28 matches.
After the fight, Volkanovski celebrated his victory with a traditional Australian ritual: the Shoey, which means drinking alcohol from a shoe, usually their own or someone else's. Volkanovski explained the origin and meaning of the Shoey to UFC reporter Laura Sanko, who was brave enough to try it herself but struggled badly.
Sanko, who is an American mixed martial arts commentator and former fighter, agreed to do a Shoey with Volkanovski on live TV. However, while trying to drink it in one gulp, the UFC commentator spilled most of the drink. The 34-year-old Australian then took the shoe and taught Sanko the actual way to drink from the shoe without spilling the drink.
Watch the video here:
Sanko was amazed by his skill and said, "That’s just annoying how clean that is. The man drinks like he fights." Volkanovski praised Sanko for her courage and welcomed her to the Shoey club. He also thanked his fans and his team for their support and said he was ready for his next challenge.
In the Octagon, Mexican fighter Yair Rodriguez was largely under Volkanovski's control on the mat for the initial two rounds. However, just as Rodriguez started to regain momentum in the striking exchanges, Volkanovski hit back with a strong right hook to set up a ground-and-pound finish in Round 3.
In the co-main event, Alexandre Pantoja defeated Brandon Moreno by split decision after a tense, back-and-forth contest. Pantoja, therefore, became the new flyweight champion. With the victory, the Brazilian improved to 3-0 versus Moreno, who was also defeated by Pantoja in 2016 and 2018.