Check back in on this post later on to see who won the UFC 284 main event, which is going down from the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.
This post will cover the marquee matchup of the night that involves Islam Makhachev in his very first title defense against the UFC’s current featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski.
There’s a lot of pressure on Makhachev here, while Volkanovski really has nothing to lose. Islam is the much bigger man, and a much better grappler, and a massive betting favorite. So he’s supposed to win — right? Well, this is also his first matchup without Khabib Nurmagomedov in his corner, so it feels like he has a lot to prove here.
What I’m particularly curious to see is how the styles will be clashing here. Volkanovski is predominantly a mobile striker, while Makhachev is known for that stifling Dagestani pressure grappling. Much like the object in my passenger side mirror, this fight is a lot closer than it appears.
The early prelims begin at 6:00pm ET/3:00pm, PT, immediately followed by the regular preliminary card. Both broadcasts can be streamed on ESPN+. The PPV main card is slated for 10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT, and can be purchased on ESPN+.
Islam Makhachev def. Alexander Volkanovski by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47 x2): Lightweight Title
Volkanovski came out feinting his rear uppercut as he tried to get close enough to close, but not close enough to get taken down. A big punch got through for Volkanovski, which fired up him and the Australian crowd. In a flurry, Makhachev landed a clean hook that made Volkanovski take a knee. That’s when Makhachev started to wrestle. He got Volkanovski down and seamlessly transitioned to the back. That’s where they stayed until the bell.
Volkanovski connected with a big punch that knocked over Makhachev in the second round, but Islam went right to his wrestling. He wasn’t able to keep the featherweight down, as Volkanovski stood back to his feet. Makhachev then landed a left hand that wobbled Volkanovski and sent him backpedalling. The output of the defending champ started to pick up, but there wasn’t much time left.
Makhachev plotted forward in the third round, while Volkanovski stayed on the outside. Volkanovski was darting in and out with combos, and finishing with a leg kick. Back to the grappling Makhachev went. He got Volkanovski down, but still couldn’t keep him there. Volkanovski pushed the pace in the closing moments of the round, and was even going for some takedowns of his own.
Volkanovski was pumping out some volume to begin the championship rounds, while Makhachev was looking to counter. Just as Volkanovski stepped in for a punch, Makhachev ducked under and hit a beautiful takedown. He then took he back with the body triangle, with well over two-minutes on the clock. Makhachev held on to the backpack while Volkanovski threw small punches for pretty much the entire time.
The final frame opened up with a stiff cross from the lightweight champion that Volkanovski acknowledged. Volkanovski was pushing forward, but he was walking into knees to the head in the clinch. Makhachev then blasted another takedown, but again Volkanovski got up and found seperation. Alexander started trying to Makhachev down, but Islam did a good job of avoiding it. Then Volkanovski dropped Makhachev with a huge punch!!! he got on top of the champ and started punching away from inside of the full guard until the horn sounded. WHAT A FIGHT!!!!!
Champ vs champ— UFC (@ufc) February 12, 2023
P4P #1 vs #2
It's time to make HISTORY #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/Xd8X3yYzS2
Inside the Volkanovski corner after 2 rounds #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/20WWlHvPLx— UFC (@ufc) February 12, 2023
Volkanovski's corner heading into our 5th and final. Gunning for a finish #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/T2IHI79232— UFC (@ufc) February 12, 2023
We just witnessed an ALL TIMER #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/Abd1D0T24S— UFC (@ufc) February 12, 2023
The full #UFC284 main event scorecards pic.twitter.com/zCx1YmqcFb— UFC (@ufc) February 12, 2023
Islam Makhachev gives his respect for Volkanovski's game plan coming into #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/UTvhJg4yYb— UFC (@ufc) February 12, 2023
The new world P4P #1 and NOBODY can take that away from @MakhachevMMA #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/FLoq82H05E— UFC (@ufc) February 12, 2023
Volk was feeling the crowd #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/zmThOWUiwy— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 12, 2023
About the author: Eddie Mercado has covered combat sports since 2015. He covers everything from betting odds to live events and fighter interviews. He holds a 1-0 record in pro MMA and holds a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu. (full bio)