Sports Seoul | It was a clash between the god of hitting and the god of grappling. It was a great match that poured out everything that can be seen in mixed martial arts.
UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev (31, Russia) won a five-round unanimous decision victory over featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (35, Australia). With this, Makhachev became the best UFC fighter by defending the lightweight champion position. Volkanovski failed to win the lightweight championship.
Makhachev and Volkanovski clashed in a main event lightweight title fight at UFC 284: Makhachev vs Volkanovski at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia on the 12th (Korean time).
Volkanovski holds the top spot in Pound for Pound, which selects the best fighters in all weight classes under the assumption that all fighters are of the same weight class. Makachev is second in pound for pound. P4P 1st place and 2nd place showdown, and hot interest was poured out even before the match.
It is truly a ‘super fight’. After UFC 280, Makachev’s coach and former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov said, “Makachev is the best fighter not only at lightweight, but also at P4P. He will go to Australia and he will fight in the backyard of P4P King Volkanovski.”
In response, Volkanovski came up to the Octagon and replied, “Let’s fight for the lightweight title and P4P 1st place,” and the match was concluded.
Following the featherweight division, Volkanovski is also seeking the title at lightweight. He knocked out Max Holloway, one of the greatest featherweight fighters of all time, three times. In March of last year, he beat ‘Korean Zombie’ Chan-sung Jeong.
His opponent, Makachev, is a grappler style. A native of Dagestan, Russia, he grew up training wrestling and sambo with his older brother토토사이트, Khabib. In 2016 he won a gold medal at the World Sambo Championships. In 2022, he won the second round submission victory over Charles Oliveira (34, Brazil) and became the lightweight champion. In grappling, it is evaluated that there is no one who can beat Makachev.
Makhachev sees Volkanovski’s weakness as wrestling. He provoked “There is no wrestling in Australia” at Media Day held on the 9th.
Volkanovski said, “There is no wrestling in our country? As soon as I started, I will give you a double leg takedown.”
On his physique inferiority, “I train with guys who are heavier than me every day at the gym. If Makachev thinks I’m a frail featherweight, he’ll be shocked.”
“I have a different style than Volkanovski’s past opponents,” Makhachev said. It’s different from Holloway, who didn’t go head-on like Chansung Jung and just followed him around,” he said. “The goal is KO instead of submission. Volkanovski is a great striker. He will KO him and he will become the P4P King.”
However, Volkanovski said, “Makachev is a calculating fighter. He doesn’t take unnecessary risks. He’s definitely going for a takedown, and that’s not going to be easy.”
In the weigh-in event on the 11th, Makachev passed with 155 pounds (70.3 kg) and Volkanovski with 154.5 pounds (70.1 kg).
The game started amidst warm cheers. Volkanovski, who was considered the top dog in this match, played carefully at the beginning of the match. Makachev also measured the distance and conducted a careful search. Volkanovski shook Makachev’s center with a left-handed hit. Makhachev also took advantage of Volkanovski’s staggering gap with a blow and knocked him over with wrestling. Makhachev grabbed Volkanovski’s bag and attempted a choke. Volkanovski finished the first round enduring Makachev’s grip.
In the second round, Volkanovski stood up against Makachev’s pull down move. Rather, he pressed Makachev and engaged in a clinch fight. In the standing strike match, he allowed a jab to Makachev, but showed a push to the cage until the end.
Makachev also tried diligently to hit. They exchanged facial blows, and when they got stuck, they pressed Volkanovski with their main skill, wrestling. However, Volkanovski beat Makachev’s wrestling with an excellent defense. Rather, there was a scene where Volkanovski tried to grab Makachev and knock him down. Until the 3rd round, both sides played a fiercely close match that made it impossible to know the future.
Makhachev tied Volkanovski’s legs and knocked him down. While in the back position, Volkanovski twisted his body and tried to get out, but his lower body was tied and he could not move. He finished the fourth round without being able to get out of Makachev’s lock.
In the final round, Makachev’s sharp punch landed on Volkanovski’s jaw. Volkanovski attempted a takedown on Makachev, and the two fought fiercely in wrestling. Volkanovski’s punch landed on Makachev, who lay on his back. Volkanovski had an impressive pounding from a top position against monster wrestler Makachev.
The referee’s decision was made amid tremendous cheers. Islam Makhachev won by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46).
In an interview after the game, Makachev said, “This is Volkanovski’s home ground. But I am the best.”
“It was a fun game,” Volkanovski said. I should have done better, but I congratulate you,” he said. He went on to say, “Now I’m going to focus on my fight against featherweight (interim champion) Yair Rodriguez, not lightweight.”
Volkanovski, who failed to challenge for the lightweight championship, returned to featherweight to prepare for a fierce fight with interim champion Yair Rodriguez. Islam Makhachev won 12 consecutive wins, recording a total of 24 wins and 1 loss in 25 matches.