Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski put on an exciting show at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia. Volkanovski, fighting in his home country, had a tough battle against the lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev. Despite Makhachev’s numerous takedowns, he could not submit Volkanovski, who showed off his impressive ground defense. Volkanovski managed to get back to his feet every time he was taken down or landed heavy punches to Makhachev’s face and body.
Makhachev, however, landed several head kicks and body shots and dominated the control time during takedowns, especially in the second round. This was a crucial turning point in the fight, and Volkanovski later admitted “Maybe I could have capitalized on some positions a little more. Left it a little late.” Volkanovski landed 70 significant strikes, more than anyone has landed against Islam in his career:
In the aftermath of the fight, Volkanovski was gracious in defeat but felt he won the battle including the close second round that made the difference in two judges’ scorecards:
In the end, Makhachev who now holds the longest active fight game win streak in the UFC at 12 in a row, won the close fight by unanimous decision, with the judges scoring it 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 in his favor. Makhachev for his part acknowledged that this was his toughest battle yet. However, Islam also made a case for himself as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. “I showed why I am number one. You like, you don’t like. Doesn’t matter. I am the best fighter in the world right now.”
With the conclusion of UFC 284, both fighters are faced with intriguing options. Makhachev can opt for a rematch with Volkanovski, challenge the winner of the Usman vs. Edwards match and aim for double champion status in the lightweight and welterweight divisions, or face Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title. On the other hand, Volkanovski may pursue a featherweight title unification bout against Yair Rodriguez at 145 lbs. However, after their intense battle at UFC 284, it wouldn’t be a shock to see these two fighters face each other once more in the Octagon for a rematch.
UFC 284 main card results:
– Islam Makhachev (c) def. Alexander Volkanovski via unanimous decision
– Yair Rodrguez def. Josh Emmett via second-round submission
– Jack Della Maddalena def. Randy Brown via first-round submission
– Justin Tafa def. Parker Porter via first-round KO
– Jimmy Crute vs. Alonzo Menfield ends in a majority draw
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