UFC 284 Volkanovski vs. Makhachev: Live results and analysis
It is rare when the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 fighters, regardless of weight category, meet face to face in any kind of martial arts. In the modern era of MMA, this may have never happened before, and Jon Jones’s 2015 UFC light heavyweight title shot against Daniel Cormier was the only one that came close.
On Saturday, however, there will be no debate. Alexander Volkanovski is the undisputed best fighter in the world, regardless of weight category. Islam Makhachev is a clear second number. And they will face each other for the UFC lightweight belt in the main event of UFC 284 in Perth, Australia. Volkanovski, the UFC Featherweight Champion, will move up in the division and take on the bigger Makhachev, who will have a 4-inch height advantage and presumably a strength advantage.
Makhachev (23-1) defeated Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 last September via second-round submission to capture the 155-pound title. A native of Dagestan won 11 fights in a row, the last five – ahead of schedule. Makhachev, 31, is a longtime training partner and friend of Khabib Nurmagomedov, the great former lightweight champion.
Volkanovski (25-1) has a perfect 12-0 record in the UFC and has won 22 consecutive wins. The Australian-born fighter defeated Max Holloway to win the featherweight belt at UFC 245 in December 2019. The 34-year-old Volkanovski has made four successful title defenses, most recently with a unanimous decision win over Holloway last July at UFC 276, his third win over the 145-pound great.
In the co-main event, Yair Rodriguez will take on Josh Emmett for the interim featherweight title. The winner is expected to take on Volkanovski to unify the titles. Rodriguez (14-3, 1 NC), a 30-year-old fighter from Mexico, has suffered only one loss in his last five fights. Emmett (18-2), a 37-year-old California resident, has won five in a row.
Follow us for the UFC 284 livestream with analysis from Sam Bruce, Brett Okamoto, Mark Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim.