Islam Makhachev ventured into enemy territory and came out victorious.
UFC 284 played host to not only the promotion’s return to Australia, but an epic champion vs. champion collision as Makhachev defended his lightweight crown against reigning featherweight kingpin Alexander Volkanovski. The battle of the Top 2 pound-for-pound fighters in the official UFC rankings was a thrilling one, concluding with Makhachev getting his hand raised in a hard-fought unanimous decision.
With Volkanovski as the No. 1-ranked fighter going into the bout, the expectation was that if Makhachev won, he’d overthrow his fellow champion. That, however, wasn’t the case as “The Great” remained atop the media-voted list.
“The people expect an easy fight from me,” Makhachev told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. “Like how I take him down, smash him there, but many things in Australia is different. All fighters wake up early morning, they don’t give us time for recovery, but Volkanovski doesn’t need time for recovery. He doesn’t cut too much weight. That’s why I know all things from his side of Australia, weather and weight, I just went to Australia and beat the champion and I don’t care if they give me the place or not. I just have my belt.
“This is most important things for the fighter. Not just cut weight, you have to recover, but they don’t give time for the recovery.”
After years of trial and error, U.S. athletic commissions changed the weigh-in system, which used to see fighters actually weigh in during the midday ceremonial portion of Fridays during a UFC fight week. This has since been changed to the 9 am to 11 am local time morning window, allowing fighters more time to properly recover from their cuts and rehydrate.
Despite being at an arguable disadvantage in that realm against Volkanovski as alluded to, Makhachev remains content with putting together a rematch. In the meantime, a major lightweight contender bout is on the horizon and could also provide him with his next challenger.
“I just showed who’s the best in the world,” Makhachev said. “It was good experience for me. If a lot of people want to see the rematch then let’s do this. Why not? Let’s go. I am ready.
“I hope Beniel [Dariush] beats [Charles] Oliveira. We gonna make some good fight because this guy is tough because he have good skills and it’s gonna be a huge fight for the fans.
“I prepared for this fight a couple years ago,” he concluded. “He beat a good opponent (Mateusz Gamrot) in his last fight. That’s why I think if he beat Charles he’s gonna deserve [the shot].”
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Suggestion. Jon Jones warns Stipe Miocic ahead of UFC title clash: ‘I would take time off from being a firefighter right now’
Rankings. Jon Jones or Francis Ngannou — who is the No. 1 heavyweight in the world?
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The MMA Hour.
UFC Las Vegas promo.
A “nightmare” rivalry.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Thank you everyone for the support!— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) March 6, 2023
Truly appreciate all of you ! ❤️
In good and bad thank you for being with me
Difficult times built strong people
Martial Arts is my LIFE and I will be back for immediate rematch stronger than ever
Fight doesn’t forget any mistake!— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) March 6, 2023
Especially it feels frustrating when you was dominating all the fight.
No excuses , only hard work !
Ready to start all over
Love you all ❤️
After one of my fights, we went to a restaurant and the waitress said “we are out of the chocolate cake”.— Jillian DeCoursey (@lionheartjill) March 6, 2023
My face looked something like his looks here https://t.co/CEx4cKTSJy
This was happened in @_PANCRASE_ last Saturday:— Bruno Massami (Бруно Массами) (@BrMassami) March 6, 2023
Yuito Yanagawa with a HUGE KO in against Kazuki Morii
Yanagawa is now 3-0 in Featherweight Division pic.twitter.com/koY4mm3WUz
Alexa posted it on Instagram saying they practice this for fucking months, amazing to watch her doing it just before winning the belt pic.twitter.com/b5Dq6srHT2— * (@andrpsl) March 6, 2023
How beautiful pic.twitter.com/jNFLfnnmhh— MS (@UFC_Obsessed) March 6, 2023
Stop the fight, he’s already dead!
The commentary team went off during Jake Gyllenhaal's fight scene— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 6, 2023
(via sayatus/IG) pic.twitter.com/YbVIDrVXI4
What a time to be a fan that was.
My man!!! https://t.co/gO9kVv6TRX— Keith Jardine (@KeithJardine205) March 7, 2023
Colby vs. anyone would be cool.
I wana see Colby Vs Dustin— Sean O'Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) March 6, 2023
Oscar must be protected.
Watchin’ and movin’.
Gonna be good.
Can’t wait to make this walk ago. It’s gonna be more electric than the first time #rizin #mma #speedkills #kickboxing pic.twitter.com/JSPImiAJ0i— John Dodson III (@JohnDodsonMMA) March 7, 2023
Denice Zamboanga (9-2) vs. Julie Mezabarba (9-4-1); ONE Fight Night 9, April 22
Makhachev and Volkanovski are both in a very rare spot where no matter who they get next, I don’t think there’s any reasonable way you can complain about the matchup. Sure, they probably shouldn’t rematch next with all things considered, but if you don’t want to see them fight again, are you even a real MMA fan?
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