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Morning Report: Islam Makhachev reacts to Alexander Volkanovski remaining No. 1 on UFC pound-for-pound list: ‘I never expected justice’

UFC 284: Makhachev v Volkanovski Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

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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UFC Vegas 69 Fight Promo.

Free fight.

A tribute to Fedor.

Free fight.

A weight-cutting deep dive.


Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses if Alexander Volkanovski should get an immediate rematch vs. Islam Makhachev after UFC 284.

DAMN! They Were Good. Take a look back at the full archive hosted by MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.


It’s all in the neck muscles.

Every time.


Oh, Kelvin.

Just resting.

New development.

Keeping up with the Edgars.

R.I.P. ...

Sometimes these things happen in MMA...

Interesting comparison.



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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