Islam Makhachev edges out Alexander Volkanovski in a classic at UFC 284

Oct 22, 2022; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Islam Makhachev (blue gloves) celebrates with the title belt after defeating Charles Oliveira (red gloves) during UFC 280 at Etihad Arena. Mandatory Credit: Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

In the headliner of UFC 284, we saw history as the promotion’s top two P4P fighters faced off for the lightweight championship. Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (25-1) was looking to achieve champ-champ status as he took on lightweight champion Islam Makhachev (23-1) in Australia.

Both of these two men have completely dominated in their octagon careers. For the last couple of years, Islam Makhachev was looked at by many as the best lightweight in the world. Last October, he finally earned that distinction running through and finishing Charles Oliveira.

Alexander Volkanovski put his stamp on being the best featherweight and P4P fighter in the world when he dominated Max Holloway for a third time last year. Tonight was all about legacy and his chance to do something only a select few have.

UFC 284 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 284 headliner kicks off with a touch of the gloves. Makhachev holds the center to start things out with Volkanovski circling on the outside. Lots of feints from both men early on. Makhachev plotting forward trying to close the distance and he lands a body kick.

Blitz from Volkanovski mostly blocked by Makhachev. Body kick from Makhachev and Volkanovski lands a leg kick. Huge left straight lands for Volkanovski and that got Makhachev’s attention. Another blitz from Volkanovski and Makhachev tries to counter.

Leg kick from Volkanovski. Low kick and a body kick from Makhachev. Both men trade huge shots right in the pocket and they both looked a little rocked. Body lock now from Makhachev and he pushes Volkanovski against the fence. The featherweight champ is doing a good job so far defending.

Makhachev gets him down along the fence and immediately takes the back with one minute to work. 30 seconds left and Makhachev is working a neck crank here. Volkanovski seems composed here. Ten seconds left and we are going to see a second round. Very competitive opening frame at UFC 284.

Round 2

Entering the second at UFC 284 and the lightweight champ is likely up after the first. They touch gloves and here we go. Wild right misses from Makhachev and Volkanovski counters with a blitz attack. Now Volkanovski is pressuring. Big shot rocks Makhachev but he immediately lands a takedown.

Volkanovski uses the fence to get back up for now. Makhachev leaning heavy on Volkanovski against the fence. Volkanovski breaks and lands a big knee. Immediate clinch now from Makhachev. Volkanovski reverses the position and breaks away.

Makhachev pressing forward now. Volkanovski blitzes and just misses with a big shot. Both men throw but neither lands. Big shot from Makhachev rocks Volkanovski but the featherweight champion stays on his feet. Lots of pressure now from Makhachev. Leg kick from Volkanovski gets some space.

They clinch and it’s Volkanovski controlling the position here. Ten seconds left in the second at UFC 284 and it’s likely 2-0 for the lightweight champ.

Round 3

Entering the third and these have been close rounds but Makhachev is likely up at UFC 284. Makhachev holds the center again to start the third. He’s pressuring heavy here. Right hand counter lands for Volkanovski and now a jab lands.

Huge rip to the body from Volkanovski. Low kick from Makhachev and then a huge body kick. Nice low kick from Volkanovski. Left straight now from Makhachev. Big low kick again from Volkanovski. Blitz in for Volkanovski and they clinch. Trip takedown from Makhachev.

Volkanovski uses the fence to get back to his feet but Makhachev has a hook. Volkanovski breaks it and now he controls the position against the fence. Big combination on the break for the featherweight champion. Makhachev pressuring here with 90 seconds left.

Big left straight from Makhachev. Low kick from Volkanovski and then the two trade left hands. Now it’s Volkanovski with a lot of pressure. Takedown attempt from Volkanovski and he nearly gets him down. The round ends and that’s a round for the featherweight champ at UFC 284.

Round 4

Entering the fourth and it’s anyone’s fight at UFC 284. Low kick from Volkanovski starts the striking. 1-2 from Makhachev lands. Left hand now from Volkanovski. Jab from Makhachev. They trade kicks in the center. Left hook now from Makhachev. Blitz and a right from Volkanovski.

Jab from Makhachev. Beautifully timed takedown from Makhachev. Volkanovski tries to work his way to the fence, but Makhachev gets his back and locks in the body triangle. Half the round to work for Makhachev and Volkanovski is going to need a miracle to get out of this position.

Volkanovski is landing shots but Makhachev is just controlling him with two minutes left. Not a lot of action here as the crowd is becoming extremely restless. One minute left and I don’t see any way out for Volkanovski here. The round ends and it’s either 3-1 Makhachev or tied at UFC 284.

Round 5

Entering the final round and Volkanovski needs to dig deep here. They embrace to start the final round. Clean left hand lands for Makhachev. Low kick and a blitz attack from Volkanovski. Knee and a left hand land for Makhachev. Jab now from Volkanovski.

Head kick from Volkanovski. They clinch and Makhachev lands a knee that cuts Volkanovski. Takedown from Makhachev but Volkanovski pops up immediately. He breaks and they are back to striking halfway through the round.

Another takedown attempt from Makhachev but Volkanovski defends perfectly with two minutes to work. Clinch from Volkanovski now. Cage pressure and combinations from the featherweight champion. Makhachev looks exhausted here with 90 seconds left.

Right hand drops Makhachev with sixty seconds left. Volkanovski is landing huge shots with 40 seconds left. What a fifth round for the featherweight champion. He settles into the guard and he’s beating on Makhachev. The round comes to a close and Alexander Volkanovski put a stamp on that fifth round. These scorecards at UFC 284 are going to be interesting.

Islam Makhachev def. Alexander Volkanovski by Decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)

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