The UFC’s new lightweight champion Islam Makhachev has his first challenger, and it’s a fellow belt-holder. ESPN has reported that Makhachev will be defending versus the current UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284 on February 11.
UFC 284 is slated to happen at the RAC Arena in Perth, Western Australia. Also scheduled to happen on that event is Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa and Tyson Pedro Zhang Migyang.
Makhachev won his title with a dominating win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 in October. He earned that title shot thanks to a ten fight winning streak which included victories over Drew Dober, Thiago Moises, Dan Hooker and Bobby Green.
Volkanovski is undefeated since 2013 and is perfect in the UFC. He won the featherweight title with a win over Max Holloway in 2019. He then defended the belt versus Holloway on two occasions. He has also defended the title against Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung.
After his most recent fight, a unanimous decision win over Holloway, Volkanovski expressed his desire to vacate the title and move up in weight. As a younger fighter, the 5’ 6” Volkanovski fought as heavy as middleweight. His last lightweight fight was in 2016.