UFC 284: Islam Makhachev beats Alexander Volkanovski to retain lightweight title

At UFC 284 in Perth, Australia, Islam Makhachev defeated local favorite and featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski by a majority decision to retain his lightweight championship. Following losing a tight decision to the lightweight champion, battle with Islam Makhachev. The current featherweight champion Volkanovski was competing in Perth, Australia, on home soil in an attempt to win two titles, but Makhachev won the main event by scores of 48-47, 48-47, and 49-46.

After UFC 284, Volkanovsi, 34, tweeted, “Just saw the fight.” “I really believe that I prevailed in rounds 2, 3, and 5. Surprised my hand wasn’t raised! Let’s play again, anywhere, whenever! In an effort to emulate his mentor and boyhood buddy Khabib Nurmagomedov, the Russian Islam Makhachev submitted Charles Oliveira in his first defense of the lightweight title he earned in November.

Islam Makhachev beats Volkanovski in the main event

UFC 284 Islam Makhachev beats Alexander Volkanovski to retain lightweight title-2

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Although Khabib was not in Islam Makhachev’s corner at the RAC Arena, the defending 155-pound champion was just about able to carry out his strategy well enough to persuade the judges that he earned the victory, despite the opinion of several spectators and competitors that Volkanovski should have won. Volkanovski, who entered UFC 284 as the UFC’s top fighter pound-for-pound and with the longest current winning streak in the organization at 12 bouts, has been dominating as the featherweight champion.

Prior to Saturday’s event, Islam Makhachev was rated second in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings, and by defeating the Australian, he equaled Volkanovski’s 12-fight winning streak. The 31-year-old Makhachev is now undefeated since 2015, while Volkanovski, 34, who had a 22-fight winning run overall, suffered his first loss in ten years as a result. Russian Makhachev edged a valiant Volkanovski in a tight match because of his aggressive wrestling and counterstrikes.

In the event that Islam Makhachev, 31, prevails, Volkanovski, 34, who was seeking to win two championships, would no longer hold the top spot in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings. The UFC promoted the battle as the first-ever encounter between Islam Makhachev, the number two-ranked fighter, and Volkanovski, their current pound-for-pound champion. Volkanovski has dominated the featherweight division since capturing the championship in 2019.

UFC 284 Islam Makhachev beats Alexander Volkanovski to retain lightweight title-1

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Was moving up to lightweight in the hopes of becoming the sixth simultaneous double UFC champion, after Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, Daniel Cormier, and Henry Cejudo. In the meanwhile, Islam Makhachev was making his first championship defense since defeating Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 in October. Because of his larger frame, the Russian was a strong pre-fight favorite with bookies.

Pundits said that his superior wrestling would make the difference, but the bout ended up being more closer than some had anticipated. In contrast, Islam Makhachev had a serious, concentrated expression as he was booed as he exited the ring, while Volkanovski was greeted with a raucous round of applause by the Australians inside the RAC Arena. Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev’s coach, mentor, and former UFC lightweight champion, stepped away from the sport in January, thus Makhachev was competing without him.

Both athletes displayed patience at the start of the battle as Volkanovski feinted and changed stances while Islam Makhachev searched for opportunities. Approximately halfway through the round, Islam Makhachev had his first noteworthy moment when Volkanovski was startled with a blow that showed the disparity in strength before he was taken down and the round came to a close.

UFC 284 Islam Makhachev beats Alexander Volkanovski to retain lightweight title-3

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The decisive moment in the second round, however, belonged to Volkanovski because, after another takedown by Islam Makhachev, he was able to accomplish what many of his opponents before him had trouble doing: get back to his feet. Volkanovski’s fortitude inspired the Perth audience, who cheered after each punch and leg kick he connected with throughout the course of the following rounds. Makhachev persisted in using Volkanovski with quick left hands and takedown attempts while using his range to his advantage.

Islam Makhachev won the fourth round decisively on the ground, but Volkanovski advanced in the fifth, probably aware that he needed to win it comfortably to take the match. Volkanovski completed the bout in a commanding position, pinning Islam Makhachev to the ground after displaying outstanding takedown defense early on. Everyone along the side of the octagon rose to their feet to applaud both combatants’ performances as the bell sounded, and both boxers stood up and raised their arms in triumph.

As a consequence, Makhachev extended his personal 12-fight UFC victory run, which is currently the longest in the company, and halted Volkanovski’s 12-fight streak. Makhachev remarked, “I assumed he was going to be simple on the ground, but this man demonstrated he wasn’t. I demonstrated why I am the best. I am now the greatest fighter in the world if you like that. Thank you. Volkanovski, on the other hand, praised his rival.

“I appreciate the help, but let’s give Islam Makhacheva a standing ovation. It was a good fight, and obviously, a lot of people will be pleased with that since they didn’t give me a chance,” he remarked. It goes without saying that I’d like to deliver this message through winning, but there is nothing wrong with pushing oneself. This kind of self-challenge only makes you stronger. You can see that I am capable of doing the job, but today I failed. Congratulations to Islam Makhachev, a terrific warrior.

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