At UFC 284, Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski will square off in a title fight in Australia with not one but two championships on the line. The fight will take place in the lightweight division.
Below, we provide a preview of the fight and analyse which competitor has the better chance of coming out on top.
Defending the lightweight title he won in October 2022, many predict Islam Makhachev to comfortably walk out of the ring in Australia with his lightweight, and Alexander Volkanovksi’s pound-for-pound belt, firmly draped over his shoulder and looking at the way he demolished Charles Oliveira to claim it last year, he might be in for another flawless victory.
Though this opponent Alexander Volkanovski is considered to be significantly stronger than his last, with a record of 25-1-0, Makhachev’s swift and brutal second-round takedown and triangle choke of Oliveira shows just how lethal he can be when he is given the opportunity.
Oliveira was on an 11-fight win streak and was seemingly unstoppable before Makhachev stole the lightweight title, but the Dagestani fighter’s unique strength and grappling prowess was on full display and if he manages to handle the lighter Volkanovski in the same way, it may bring a swift end to the Aussie.
In case you hadn’t worked it out already, Makhachev is the clear favourite to get the better of Volkanovski and is 1/4 to win, with a win by submission his most likely method of result at 11/8, which is not surprising considering his dominance in this area.
UFC 284 – Alexander Volkanovski
Alexander Volkanovksi is the shorter fighter at 5’6”, four inches shorter than Makhachev, and representing his country, will have the Australian crowd behind him for the duration of the fight. The featherweight champion is undefeated since 2013 and has escaped dangerous chokes against the likes of Brian Ortega, making him well-matched against Makhachev.
If he can use his reach and agility to keep Makhachev at bay for the distance, he might have a chance at victory. If he combines these two aspects with his lightning-quick kicks, and his variety of body and head strikes, he could pick Makhachev apart and force a decision.
He is 3/1 to triumph, so he isn’t being completely written off by odds makers; to win by KO, TKO or DQ, he is 17/2, offering great value for a good fighter who could certainly pull off this upset on his day. This, of course, all relies on the Australian staying away from the tight grip of Makhachev’s takedown and chokes. If he can avoid them for long enough, he is in with a great chance of victory.
Though it looks good for Volkanovski with an optimistic mindset, in reality, Makhachev is in great shape and is built like a rock. He will absorb much of the punishment that Volkanovski can dish out, and looking at his UFC track record so far, he has very rarely taken damage to the point where it seemed he was on the ropes.
Regardless of the result, it will be a well-matched fight and, hopefully, one that goes the distance. Makhachev to win in round one is 4/1 from 7/2 with enhanced odds and is the favourite to win every round.
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