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New FSM Essential Recap: UFC 284 Makhachev vs Volkanovski

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With legacy on the line, UFC 284 comes to a close in Perth, Australia! Saturday’s main event set the landscape for the UFC, as Islam Makhachev and Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski faced off for the Lightweight title.

 

Saturday’s card was set up to showcase the best the UFC had to offer, as the number one and number two pound-for-pound fighters faced off to determine the top dog in MMA. With his 155-pound title on the line, the lightweight king, Islam Makhachev, faced off with the pound-for-pound number one fighter and Featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski as both men looked to establish their legacies in a title fight that had more than just gold on the line.

 

Makhachev goes down under for his first title defense.

 

UFC 284
Photo Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

The main event at UFC 284 saw two men go for career-defining achievements. On one side, the number two ranked pound-for-pound fighter on the UFC roster Islam Makhachev (24-1-0), looked to earn his first title defense as the lightweight champion, as well as secure the first place ranking on the P4P list. On the other side, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (25-2-0) looked to become only the fifth fighter in UFC history to hold two belts at the same time.

The fight began with both fighters facing off in the center of the octagon. With so much anticipation leading up to their fight, it was difficult to guess what would happen in the opening minutes between both title holders. After both fighters remained patient, waiting for the other to show their hand, Volkanovski made the first move as he threw multiple strikes. Makhachev seemed unfazed as Volkanovski’s strikes seemed to miss their marks.

Islam would finally make his move with a counter strike that caught Volkanovski and allowed the first opportunity for a takedown attempt for Makhachev. The lightweight champion would find his positioning behind Volkanovski on the ground. Makhachev would attempt to get a rear-naked choke, but Volkanovski withstood the storm until the end of the round.

In the second round, Volkanovski continued to throw multiple strike attempts. This time though, the featherweight champ would land a shot that clipped Islam and caused the Dagestani fighter to stumble. Islam recovered and managed to get a takedown. The fight would go back to the feet after Islam’s attempt to gain a dominant position failed. As both men rose back to their feet, Volkanovski continued to stay active with multiple striking attempts. Makhachev, remaining calm, landed a counterstrike that stunned Volkanovski and had the Aussie fighter down in a vulnerable spot on the mat. Volkanovski would manage to survive as the second round came to a close.

 

The third round started the same way the previous two had: with Islam remaining patient for his moments and Volkanovski throwing strikes, looking for his opportunities.

 

UFC 284
Photo Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Makhachev would find his mark first, as the lightweight champ landed a hard body kick that erupted multiple striking attempts from both fighters. Makhachev would go on to secure multiple successful takedown attempts, but Volkanovski was quick to get out of bad positioning in order to regain his footing.

In the final seconds of the round, Volkanovski managed to trip Makhachev up and forced the lightweight champion to the fence before the end of the round.

By the time the fourth round began, it was clear that Volkanovski seemed to be the more active fighter, but Makhachev seemed to be the more effective. After landing another takedown attempt, Makhachev looked for the rear-naked choke submission again, but after grabbing Volkanovski’s glove, the fight was stopped, and both men were brought back up to their feet. The fight would go back to the ground in the final minute as Makhachev attempted another submission. Volkanovski defended well against the attempt and managed to land multiple strikes from the ground with Makhachev on his back until the end of the fourth round.

In the final round of the night, Volkanovski came out swinging with attempts of keeping the judges out of the final decision. But just as he had done for the first four rounds, Islam withstood the strike attempts. Makhachev then followed by attempting another takedown, but just as he had done all night, Volkanovski regained his footing and found a way to keep the fight off the mat. In the final moments of the fight, Volkanovski landed his biggest shot of the night which caused Makhachev to stumble to the ground.

Seeing his opportunity, Volkanovski rushed Makhachev and delivered big strikes while standing over the lightweight champion. Multiple strikes landed and caused an uproar in RAC Arena, as it seemed Volkanovski was inching closer to deciding the fight. But just as it seemed Volkanovski was ready to clinch his double-champion status, the horn rang and the fight was ended.

The judges’ scorecards were announced, and after a unanimous decision from the judges, Islam Makhachev was declared the winner, securing his first title defense as the lightweight champion. Despite the disappointing decision, Volkanovski remained confident and seemed unfazed as he called for a rematch down the road with Makhachev.

With the UFC’s best on display Saturday night, both Volkanovski and Makhachev displayed one of the best matchups we may see in 2023. Both men now go to their individual divisions to continue their reigns, until the next time they decide to go for the champ-champ title.

 

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