UFC 284 played host to one of the biggest fights in the promotion’s 30-year history on Saturday night at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter and reigning featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski stepped up to the lightweight division to challenge newly minted 155-pound champion Islam Makhachev in the evening’s main event.
Things started slowly with both fighters sizing one another up, but the Australian crowd practically came unglued two minutes into the opening round when he landed a solid left that sent Makhachev stumbling backward. Two minutes go to, Volkanovski moved in with a combination, but ate a counter right that briefly dropped him to a knee. Makhachev used the opportunity to unleash a ground attack, getting Volkanovski to the ground with just over a minute to go in the round. Volkanovski was able to survive the early submission attempts of Makhachev much to the delight of the Australian crowd.
The second round saw Volkanovski taken down once again, but to Makhachev’s chagrin, ‘The Great’ was able to work his way back up and forced Makhachev to engage on the feet for a majority of the round. Makhachev showed his ability to stand and trade with Volkanovski throughout the round but sought to go back to the ground game in the third. Makhachev scored another takedown, but again, Volkanovski worked his way back up with relative ease.
A majority of the fourth round was spent on the ground with Makhachev scoring an early takedown and controlling the back of Volkanovski. Going into the fifth, it was clear that Makhachev was losing steam. He was still able to work Volkanovski to the ground but was unable to keep him there. Volkanovski turned up the heat in the final minutes of the round, dropping Makhachev with a big right hand, and ended the round delivering ground and pound until the final bell, closing out a memorable UFC 284 event.
Official Result: Islam Makhachev def. Alexander Volkanovski via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, and 49-46) to retain the UFC lightweight championship at UFC 284