UFC 284 was undeniably brilliant. From weight cuts to the event itself, every single fighter put on a performance they can be proud of. Every single winner however put on displays they could easily build legacies on. Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski put on a fight-of-the-year contender for the main event final between the p4p and lightweight champions.
Islam Makhachev Vs Alexander Volkanovski
What an astounding match-up these two fighters are both before and after the fight. Though Volk came into the fight as the underdog. He left many with questions in their head about the possibility of a rematch.
It had been 9 whole years since Alex “The Great” entered the lightweight division. However this time he came with a pound-for-pound challenge and as a lightweight challenger to the Lightweight Champion, “The Prodigal Eagle”, Islam Makhachev.
Before the fight, many wondered how Alex would cope with the weight change and whether he would be able to stand against the overwhelming power of Dagestani Sambo. However, despite the doubt in his abilities, Volk was an ex-rugby player and there were multiple times in this fight when that Aussie rugby power shined.
Throughout the history of the UFC, only a few reigning champions have journeyed to another weight category to claim a second concurrent title, and just four have prevailed. Alexander Volkanovski would become the sixth double champ in the history of the sport.
On the other hand, Islam was the betting favorite, for his division, and for his fighting style. He had destroyed the impenetrable defense of Charles Oliveira breaking the champions’ 11-fight win streak. With a win over Volk, he would become the first fighter to ever break two 10-fight winning streaks belonging to champions.
However, the difference this time, Islam would be fighting without the legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov advising him in his corner. He still approached the fight with confidence in his abilities and handled all the conferences immaculately. Adding that he will “upset” the Perth crowd whether they like it or not.
With that said, Marc Goddard was the referee of the night and the play-by-play is underway.
An exciting fight indeed, both fighters test each other out very tentatively. A couple of leg kicks land and Alex connects with a right hand, it looks impressive. Volkanovski pressed Makhachev briefly.
Makhachev hasn’t committed to striking yet but he’s thrown every kind of feign. Two minutes left on the clock. Volk jumps in for an explosive combo, and Makhachev stuns Volkanovski. He takes a knee and attempts to disengage, but Makhachev pursues. Makhachev now presses Volkanovski against the cage, looking for a takedown. He snakes his way in and gets the takedown, wrapping his viper-like grip around his waist and threatening neck cranks.
Makhachev gets back mounted with a leg lock, all of his weight is on Volk. One minute left. Makhachev worked to get the rear-naked choke. Makhachev keeps the position until the bell. Alex did decently, preventing a submission from that position.
Brilliant energy from this very vocal crowd! Thunderous anthems are being sung!
Again, both fighters come out very cautious. Volkanovski with tons of feints all while pressing Makhachev. Makhachev gets stunned, but immediately transitions to a defensive takedown. Volkanovski backs away but gets pressed against the cage. Three minutes left. Volkanovski gets up! Makhachev closes the distance again, but it’s Volkanovski now pressing Makhachev against the cage.
They break away. Two minutes left. Makhachev wobbles Volkanovski! Volkanovski backing up. Makhachev pressed him. Hard leg kick by Volkanovski. He seems to have fully recovered. Uppercut by Makhachev. Now Volkanovski presses Makhachev against the cage. Volkanovski keeps the position until the bell. Close round.
Crowds chanting Volkanovski’s name. Volkanovski connects with a right. Good jab by Makhachev. Big body kick by Makhachev, a hard leg kick returned by Volkanovski. Very even fight on the feet right now. Makhachev goes for the takedown. He’s now pressing Volkanovski against the cage.
Volkanovski reverses the position, he’s now the one pressing against the cage. Solid hooks land for the P4P on the break. Back to striking. Good left hand by Makhachev. One minute left. Volkanovski pressed Makhachev, landing a few good shots. Makhachev looked shaken. The bell rings.
Championship rounds. Solid one, two lands for Makhachev. Good jab by Makhachev. Makhachev had success with the striking here and achieves the takedown, perfect timing. Makhachev now moves to the back mount and locks a body triangle on Volkanovski.
Three minutes left. Makhachev kept tight control here. Two minutes left. Just control, no damage from Makhachev. Volkanovski is hyped, landing short shots while he has his back taken. Makhachev is just controlling. The bell rings. This crowd is going nuts.
Close fight here. Volkanovski is still in this. Clean straight right by Makhachev. Hard leg kick by Volkanovski. Volkanovski pressed Makhachev hard here. He’s looking for the finish.
Volkanovski opened up here, he’s bleeding. Makhachev briefly takes down Volkanovski, and he gets right back up and breaks the clinch. Crowd roars. Makhachev attempts another takedown. Volkanovski defends well and keeps the fight standing! Two minutes left.
Volkanovski connects to Makhachev. Volkanovski almost takes down Makhachev. Unreal. Volkanovski hurts Makhachev with a left hand. Makhachev is down. Volkanovski jumps on him and is landing ground-and-pound. Makhachev is trying him up, looking to survive. Wow. Big shots by Volkanovski. The bell rings. What a fight. Another minute and Volk may have finished the winning streak of Makhachev.
Yair Rodríguez Vs Josh Emmett
Freshly minted interim UFC Featherweight Champion Yair Rodriguez said instantly that he would like his title unification in Mexico City.
Rodriguez was facing Josh Emmett as the co-main event of UFC 284. The interim UFC Featherweight Championship was on the line. Rodriguez submitted Emmett in the second round to lay claim to UFC gold for the first time in his pro career. From this fight he’s earnt himself a shot at the Champion himself Alexander Volkanovski.
During the UFC 284 post-fight press conference, Yair Rodriguez said the dream scenario would be to fight UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski in Mexico.
“Yeah, that would be perfect,” Rodriguez told reporters at the UFC 284 post-fight press conference. “I actually talked to Alexander Volkanovski in the past in Dallas – actually not that much with him, more his manager – and he asked me if I’d go to Australia. I was like, ‘Yeah, why not. Of course, I’ll go.’ I stick to my word. I came here and won the interim title, and now I want to ask the UFC to take this belt, this championship fight to Mexico City in September whenever they open the UFC performance institute, so we can do it there.”
Volkanovski also fought at UFC 284. In fact, he got top billing, challenging Islam Makhachev for the UFC Lightweight Championship. Volkanovski lost the fight via unanimous decision, but he didn’t make it easy for Makhachev. Volkanovski may have lost his top UFC pound-for-pound spot, but his stock has never been higher.
Jack Della Maddalena Vs Randy Brown
Jack Della Maddalena passed his toughest test to date with flying colors — and he did it all in front of his hometown crowd in Perth, Australia.
It was a dominant performance from Della Maddalena after he scored an early knockdown on Randy Brown before snatching a rear-naked choke submission that finished the fight at UFC 284. The official stoppage came at 2:13 in the first round as Brown tapped out and Della Maddalena celebrated his latest win.
“I did [imagine this moment]. I f****** did,” Della Maddalena said. “As soon as he gave me the neck, it was done. I’m not letting go of that. I clipped him, faceplant, hammer fists, submission. That’s how it is.
“I want someone in the top 15. Hopefully, we can do this again next year, same time, same place.”
Della Maddalena made his move after avoiding Brown’s strikes and then pressing the fight up against the cage. From there, Della Maddalena just measured his shots before unloading a huge punch that sent Brown down in a heap.
Despite the near knockout, Brown scrambled to survive as Della Maddalena continued his assault with a barrage of shots until seeing the opening for the submission. As soon as Della Maddalena got his arms around the neck, he secured the rear naked choke and Brown had no choice but to tap or go to sleep.
With the win, Della Maddalena moved to 4-0 in the UFC with all four fights ending in the first round. It’s safe to say he’ll be looking at ranked competition sooner rather than later, especially after another impressive win on Saturday.
What an exciting event and definitely a fight-of-the-year contender. Volkanovski has stacked a very just claim for a rematch in the post-conferences. Whereas Islam Makhachev is the greatest Martial Artist in the World right now. With that, we have two Fight Nights to look forward to for the rest of the month and the return of Jon “Bones” Jones facing the nimble heavyweight Cyril, “Bon Gamin” Gane as the first event of March.