UFC 284 betting, odds: Islam Makhachev’s improved striking, efficient takedowns make him a wise choice

Alexander Volkanovski stands on the edge of history, and much is in his favor. He is the #1 fighter in the world regardless of weight category according to the UFC rankings, is the world featherweight champion, won 22 fights in a row and 25 of 26 overall, has a record of 12-0 in the UFC.

On Saturday in his home country of Australia, he will attempt a tough challenge as he moves up the division to take on lightweight champion Islam Makhachev for his belt and weight class supremacy in the main event at UFC 284 in Perth.

Despite the home advantage, players don’t really like Volkanovski’s chances of becoming just the fifth fighter in UFC history behind Conor McGregor (featherweight and lightweight), Amanda Nunes (bantamweight and featherweight), Daniel Cormier (light heavyweight and heavyweight). and Henry Cejudo (flyweight and bantamweight) to hold titles in two weight divisions at the same time.

At BetMGM, Makhachev bet up to -400 on the favorite, and Volkanovski – +300 on the underdog.. Makhachev is only +150 in submission, a tempting number for one of the best submission masters in the UFC.

This is the struggle of Makhachev, on which players place bets.

One of the things that is often helpful when fighters are so close to each other and believe that the fight can end anyway is to see how they fared when the competition got better. Makhachev has fought 13 times in the UFC, so we’ll take a look at his first seven fights and compare them to his last six fights. We’re guessing the last six fights represent the best fight of his UFC career.

Then we’ll take a look at Volkanovski, splitting him into two parts of six fights.

Makhachev was 6-1 in his first seven fights with three finishes. He defeated Leo Kunz and Kajan Johnson and knocked out Gleison Tibau. He was knocked out in his second UFC fight by Adriano Martins. In the other three of his first seven, he won by decision over Chris Wade, Nick Lentz and Arman Tsarukyan.

In his last six UFC fights, Makhachev is 6-0 with five finishes, four submissions and a knockout. He defeated Drew Dober, Thiago Moises, Dan Hooker and Charles Oliveira, knocked out Bobby Green and defeated Davy Ramos by decision.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 10: (LR) Islam Makhachev of Russia and Alexander Volkanovski of Australia pose during the UFC 284 press conference at the RAC Arena on February 10, 2023 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Lightweight champion Islam Makhachev is BetMGM’s -400 favorite over Alexander Volkanovskiy, who has +300. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Volkanovski was 6-0 in his first six UFC fights with three TKOs over Yusuke Kasua, Jeremy Kennedy and Chad Mendes, and decisions over Mizuto Hiroda, Shane Young and Darren Elkins. In his last six fights, he was also 6-0, with one finish, a fourth round TKO of Jang Sung Joon at UFC 273 on April 9, 2022.

Makhachev got better as his competition increased. He improved his finishing record and did not lose. Volkanovski doesn’t end fights that often, but he still wins.

In 13 UFC fights, Makhachev refused only two takedowns, and in nine out of 13 his opponent did not even try to conduct a takedown. In his first seven fights, Makhachev’s significant punch attempts had a 62.2% success rate and he averaged 26.4 significant punches per fight. In his last six scoring attempts, he hit 57.3% of his hits and averaged 48.0 hits per fight.

Statistics show that he has become a more successful striker, despite the fact that his competitive level has risen.

He had seven submissions, although he only had 41 takedowns in 13 fights. He is outstanding at finishing the fight when he knocks down his opponent. In his seven submission wins, he landed 2 of 3 takedowns against Oliveira; 1-in-1 against Hooker; 3 out of 6 against Moises; 3-in-4 against Dober; 1-in-1 against Johnson; and 3-for-5 against Kunz. That’s 14 out of 20 takedown attempts in fights where he’s been submitted.

This suggests that although it is extremely difficult for Volkanovski to give up, it is better for him to continue the fight on the stand. His problem is that Makhachev has become extraordinarily skilled in his last six fights, using the threat of a takedown to set up his punches.

Volkanovski is one of the smartest fighters in the sport, and also the strongest.

Thus I will choose Makhachev wins at -400 And I bet the fight is at +130 range.

More picks for UFC 284

  • Josh Emmett at +135 to defeat Yair Rodriguez.

  • Jimmy Cool at -190 to defeat Alonzo Menifield.

  • Randy Brown-Jack Della Maddalena struggles to complete the +150 distance.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 09: Josh Emmett hosts an open workout for fans and the media during UFC 284 open training at Elizabeth Quay - The Landing on February 9, 2023 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Josh Emmett is a +135 underdog to defeat Yair Rodriguez in their fight on Saturday in Perth, Australia for the interim featherweight championship at UFC 284. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


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