The lone defeat of Alexander Volkanovski’s career happened ten years ago when he was a much more inexperienced fighter. Similarly, the only loss of Islam Makhachev’s career took place eight years ago, in only his second appearance inside a UFC octagon. Simply put, these men have been the two most outstanding fighters on The UFC’s roster for the last few years. In a matchup that fans have been dreaming about for over a year, Volkanovski the reigning Featherweight Champion will face Makhachev, the reigning Lightweight Champion in the main event of UFC 284. There’s a lot to unpack here. Without further ado, let’s get into it!Embed from Getty Images
Makhachev vs. Volkanovski
Islam Makhachev has earned the title International Master of Sport in Combat Sambo. He achieved a gold medal in the sport at the 2016 World Championships, foreshadowing his ascent to the top of the mixed martial arts world several years later. Now, he is the King of the most competitive weight class in all of MMA, the Lightweight division. The only thing that stands between him and the unquestioned ranking as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world is his next opponent. While a fully prepared Makhachev has seemed almost a foregone conclusion to emerge victorious in years past, defeating the reigning Featherweight Champion while simultaneously defending his own belt will prove to be no easy task.Embed from Getty Images
Alexander Volkanovski’s nickname, The Great, initially started as a way to pay homage to one of his Greek ancestors, Alexander The Great. However, over the last few years, Volkanovski has carved out his own niche and become great in his own right. After defeating Max Holloway for the Featherweight crown in December of 2019, Volkanovski has established a stranglehold over the division that it doesn’t appear he intends to loosen any time soon. If someone is going to put an end to his reign of terror, it appears that the 31-year-old Makhachev, who hails from an entirely different division, will have to be the man to do it. You won’t want to miss it when Makhachev and Volkanovski lay it all on the line at UFC 284!
Rodríguez vs. Emmett
Yair Rodríguez will be keeping a close eye on Alexander Volkanovski’s performance as soon as the sweat dries from the Co-main event of the evening. That is because he is ranked 2nd in the Featherweight division; the reigning champion’s performance will have a direct impact on his future. However, he must caution himself against looking too far ahead and underestimating the prowess of Josh Emmett, his upcoming opponent at UFC 284. Emmett hasn’t lost a fight since February of 2018 and his Top 5 ranking in the division is well deserved. Both men are well aware that the winner of their bout will be next in line for a title shot; sparks are sure to fly when they meet in the center of the octagon. Be sure to tune in!
Maddelena vs. Brown
26-year-old Welterweight Jack Della Maddelena earned a spot on The UFC’s roster in September of 2021 during Dana White’s Contender Series. Since then, he’s won his first three fights on the organization’s roster and has gradually earned the respect of his peers. Maddelena is a true testament to grit and determination. After losing his first two professional bouts in the Spring of 2016, he has gone undefeated in thirteen consecutive fights and looks to build upon his win streak on Saturday night.
32-year-old Randy Brown is in the midst of a four-fight win streak. He is in his physical prime, turning in the best performances of his life, and becoming a fan favorite each time he steps inside the octagon. Once upon a time, he was the Ring of Combat Welterweight Champion. He desperately wants to duplicate that level of success in The UFC. A fifth consecutive victory would greatly improve his case that he deserves serious consideration for a shot at the organization’s Welterweight Championship belt. There’ll be a lot at stake for Maddelena and Brown when they meet on Saturday night. Don’t miss any of the action!
Tafa vs. Porter
Australian native Justin Tafa will be making his first public appearance inside the octagon since 2021 on Saturday night. He was scheduled to participate in two events in 2022, but pulled out of each one for reasons that were not made known to the public. His next opponent, Parker Porter, is 37-years-old without a ranking or a win against a marquee opponent. That being said, each of these men has to feel fortunate to be featured on the main card; they have resumes that are better suited for undercard competition. These two are sure to give it their all, knowing that another opportunity of this magnitude is not a guarantee. Tune in to see which man rises to the occasion and seizes the moment!
Crute vs. Menifield
Light Heavyweight prospect Jimmy Crute is on a two-fight losing streak and has not competed publicly since December of 2021. His upcoming opponent, Alonzo Menifield, is on a two fight win streak and has been performing at the highest level of his career as-of-late. Interestingly enough, Crute is currently ranked as a Top-15 fighter while Menifield is still on the outside looking in on the divisional rankings. This is a case of two men who’s career’s appear to be headed in opposite directions. Crute will be desperate for a triumphant return bout while Menifield will be out to prove he belongs among the elite fighters in the weight class. There’s a lot at stake here; you won’t want to miss it!
How to watch
UFC 284 can be viewed via pay-per-view on BT Sport in The United Kingdom and on ESPN Plus in The United States. As always, we’ll have all the latest updates about the outcomes of the fights, as well as in depth analysis available right here at World in Sport!