FIGHT BY FIGHT PREVIEW | UFC 284: MAKHACHEV VS VOLKANOVSKI
Preview Every Fight On UFC 284 As We Prepare For Islam Makhachev And Alexander Volkanovski To Fight For The UFC Lightweight Championship.
BY E. SPENCER KYTE, ON TWITTER @SPENCERKYTE
or the second time in as many months, the UFC delivers an international pay-per-view to its audience, taking the action back to Australia for the first time since UFC 243 for a fight card headlined by a colossal “Champion vs. Champion” clash in the lightweight division.
Packed with Oceanic talents and intriguing matchups, UFC 284 is sure to be an action-packed affair that adds to the impressive start of the 2023 campaign inside the Octagon. Here’s a closer look at what’s on tap this weekend at RAC Arena in Perth.
Main Event: Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski
Location: RAC Arena - Perth, Australia
Co-Main Event: Yair Rodriguez vs Josh Emmett
Other Main Card Fights:
Jack Della Maddalena vs Randy Brown
Justin Tafa vs Parker Porter
Jimmy Crute vs Alonzo Menifield
Tyson Pedro vs Modestas Bukauskas
Josh Culibao vs Melsik Baghdasaryan
Shannon Ross vs Kleydson Rodrigues
Jamie Mullarkey vs Francisco Prado
Early Prelim Fights:
Jack Jenkins vs Don Shainis
Loma Lookboonmee vs Elise Reed
Shane Young vs Blake Bilder
Zubaira Tukhugov vs Elves Brenner
Moments after Islam Makhachev was presented with the lightweight title he earned at UFC 280, featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski congratulated him and stated his desire to challenge for the newly-earned strap.
Order UFC 284: Makhachev vs Volkanovski
This weekend, the titleholders will stand across from one another to determine who is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.
Makhachev has won 11 straight, earning four straight stoppage wins on his way to facing Charles Oliveira for the belt last October, and submitting “Do Bronx” in the second round to claim the title. Heralded as “the next one” when his longtime teammate and friend Khabib Nurmagomedov retired, the 31-year-old standout has lived up to those forecasts and then some and can add to his legacy by taking out Volkanovski on Saturday.
WATCH: Makhachev's 2022 Résumé | Volk's Greatest Hits
Not to be outdone, Volkanovski is a perfect 12-0 in the UFC and riding an incredible 22-fight winning streak overall, having picked up his fourth successful featherweight title defense in July with a one-sided decision win over former champ Max Holloway. The 34-year-old Australian has continued to evolve and improve with each passing appearance, developing into one of the most complete fighters in the sport and a master tactician inside the Octagon.
This is a fascinating fight and arguably the best matchup the UFC could put together at this moment. Both men are highly skilled, dynamic, and dangerous, and it’s going to be captivating to see how this one plays out.
Co-Main Event: Yair Rodriguez vs Josh Emmett
With Volkanovski relocating to lightweight — at least for the moment — the UFC has chosen Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett to face off for the interim featherweight title in Saturday’s co-main event, hoping to maintain continuity atop the division regardless of what transpires in the main event.
Rodriguez has long been expected to rise to the championship tier, but has taken a circuitous route, struggling to put together the consistent appearances and results needed to make a dominant run to the top of the division. There is no denying that the Mexican featherweight is a tremendous talent — explosive, athletic, and inventive, Rodriguez has the skills to be a superstar and titleholder; it’s just a matter of whether he can bring that all together at the right time, when the stakes are highest.
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Inconsistency has never been an issue for Emmett, who arrives in Australia own a five-fight winning streak, brandishing an 18-2 record overall. Injuries have forced him to the sidelines for stretches, but every time, he’s come back and collected another win, further cementing his standing as one of the top contenders in the 145-pound weight class.
This is a classic clash of approaches, with Rodriguez offering a lot of kicks, a lot of movement, and heaps of creativity, while Emmett has a wrestling background and prefers to sling hammers, looking to put your lights out with one shot. It’s going to be tense from the opening seconds and remain that way for as long as it lasts.
Originally appeared https://www.ufc.com/news/fight-fight-preview-ufc-284-makhachev-vs-volkanovski-rodriguez-emmett