Makhachev Takes Decision Victory Against Volkanovski in 5-Round Brawl at UFC 284

While Khabib Nurmagomedov’s heir apparent Islam Makhachev successfully defended his lightweight crown from challenger Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski at UFC 284, Volkanovski shocked audiences with a performance that saved him from several of the Dagestani wrestler’s patented submission attempts, and ultimately forced the title fight to a judges’ decision after five rounds of nonstop action. Many agree that the featherweight king may have just given Makhachev the toughest fight of the Dagestani’s career — even putting Makhachev on his back near the end of the final round, a previously near unheard-of feat.

In his Octagon interview, Makhachev thanked his opponent for the fight, describing their battle as a great experience, and admitting to his shock at Volkanovski’s preparation and skill on the ground. “I showed why I’m number one,” he added, raising his voice above boos from the crowd in Perth. “They have to improve more. They have good striking, good wrestling [and] grappling skills, this is his area, but you like [it] or you don’t like [it], I am the best fighter in the world right now.”

For his part, pound-for-pound great Volkanovski seemed in good spirits, thanking the hometown Australian crowd for their support, and encouraging them to give Islam their respect. Volk additionally explained that while he felt that Islam didn’t sufficiently respect the featherweight’s grappling skills, Volk himself didn’t sufficiently respect Islam’s striking skills. “Fair play to both of us,” he admitted.

“Obviously, I would have liked to say this message with a win,” said Volk, “but nothing wrong with challenging yourselves. I’m a better fighter because of this. The featherweights better f**king watch out because you challenge yourself like this, it only makes you stronger. The reason I had to push myself was that I knew how good their team was; I knew how good Islam was. He is as good as he was saying — I just told you I’m the right man for the job [and] you can see I can get the job done, but I pulled up short tonight. Congrats to Islam, great fighter, maybe we’ll settle pound-for-pound number one again.”

Meanwhile, in the co-main event, Yair Rodriguez, primarily known as a stri

king phenom, delivered a flying knee to Josh Emmett that accidentally put Rodriguez on his back. However, Rodriguez recovered by locking up a submission chain from the bottom, ultimately forcing Emmett to tap to a triangle choke near the end of the second round.

The submission victory has earned Rodriguez the interim featherweight belt — which will see him facing Volk in a title fight to unite the belts at an unspecified date in the future.


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