Islam Makhachev isn’t surprised that he’s still No. 2 on the UFC’s official pound-for-pound rankings.
The near-flawless Dagestani went into enemy territory this past weekend at UFC 284 for one of those most difficult first title defenses a new MMA champion has ever been tasked with. Makhachev’s crowning moment over Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 in Oct. 2022 was enough for the rankings panelist of the UFC’s official rankings to place him at No. 2 pound-for-pound. The only man ahead of him was none other than Volkanovski.
Despite defeating the Australian via a hard-fought unanimous decision, the latest rankings update saw Makhachev staying put behind his fellow champion.
“The road home is always good, no matter how long you fly,” Makhachev told Russian media upon arrival back in Dagestan (h/t Nurmagomedov MMA School and Za.Khabiba). “About the rankings, I never expected justice and still don’t because we saw on the example of our other fighters, [Magomed] Ankalaev, Petr Yan, saw the attitude towards us always.
“The main thing, I flew 13,000 kilometers there, defeated their champion. They raised my hand and with a raised head, confidently with a belt flew home.”
In the cases of Ankalaev and Yan specifically, they differ from Makhachev in the sense that the judges didn’t end up scoring their bouts in their favor. For Ankalaev, the top light heavyweight contender fought to a split draw against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 282 in December whereas Yan fell short via a split decision against Sean O’Malley at UFC 280.
After achieving lightweight titleholder status, Makhachev’s next matchup was already in mind as he immediately called for featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in “The Great’s” backyard of Australia. Now that it’s out of the way, the potential is there for a rematch, considering all the noise generated surrounding the result.
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Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses if Alexander Volkanovski should get an immediate rematch vs. Islam Makhachev after UFC 284.
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
It’s all in the neck muscles.
Jake Paul's boxing training is different pic.twitter.com/4gzwshEsil— Dexerto (@Dexerto) February 14, 2023
February 14, 2023
My forever valentine… pic.twitter.com/f6Ny7pe5d8— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) February 14, 2023
What happens when you open up my mason jar https://t.co/xOjvpAhh29— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) February 14, 2023
In fine form, well rested.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 14, 2023
I’ll be waiting https://t.co/SKJbWeQIdF— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) February 15, 2023
Keeping up with the Edgars.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the Edgar’s ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/cLWzHwE60L— Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) February 15, 2023
@DominickCruz sadly passed away…… pic.twitter.com/NDr7AHBqxb— michael (@bisping) February 15, 2023
Sometimes these things happen in MMA...
NAHHHH AINT NO WAY pic.twitter.com/AjygapskAy— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) February 15, 2023
The UFC did Figgy vs Moreno 4 times back to back essentially, holding up a division for 3+ years— Damien Brown (@beatdown155) February 15, 2023
Let’s booked Islam vs Volk again in 12 weeks. It’s not going to change much #UFC284
Erick Gonzalez (14-7) vs. Trevor Peek (7-0); UFC Vegas 70, Feb. 25
Mateusz Gamrot (21-2, 1 NC) vs. Jalin Turner (13-5); UFC 285, March 4
Sullivan Cauley (5-0) vs. Luke Trainer (6-1); Bellator 293, March 31
Lucas Brennan (7-0) vs. Josh San Diego (9-4); Bellator 293, March 31
Lance Gibson Jr. (7-0) vs. Vladimir Tokov (8-2); Bellator 293, March 31
Pam Sorenson (9-5) vs. Sara Collins (3-0); Bellator 293, March 31
Randi Field (3-1) vs. Ashley Cummins (7-6); Bellator 293, March 31
Bryce Meredith (3-0) vs. Brandon Carrillo (1-0); Bellator 293, March 31
Maria Henderson (1-0) vs. MacKenzie Stiller (0-0); Bellator 293, March 31
Chris Barnett (23-8) vs. Chase Sherman (16-11); UFC 287, April 8
Liz Carmouche (18-7) vs. DeAnna Bennett (13-7-1); Bellator 294, April 21
Raufeon Stots (19-1) vs. Patchy Mix (17-1); Bellator 295, April 22
Matt Brown (25-19) vs. Court McGee (22-11); UFC Fight Night, May 13
It’s just so funny how the lack of a P4P swap completely defeats all the promotional build-up that centered around that for the fight.
Thanks for reading!
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