Breakdown of Islam Vs Volkanovski: Mainstream Opinions about the Decision & UFC 284 Takeaways

Breakdown of Islam Vs Volkanovski: Mainstream Opinions about the Decision & UFC 284 Takeaways

The most awaited and hyped main fight of UFC 284 happened at the RAC arena in Perth Western Australia between the Featherweight and Pound-for-Pound Ozzie Champ, Alex Volkanovski, and UFC Lightweight Daghistani champ and protege of Khabib, Islam Makhachev. Daghistani earned the Lightweight title last October by dominating the former lightweight Champ Charles Olivera with a first-round submission win. It was the first UFC event in Australia since October 2019.

1. Comparison of Alex Volkanovski & Islam Makhachev

Alex Volkanovski, known as the underdog of UFC, maintained his longest 12-fight UFC win streak and remained undefeated for over a decade with four impressive featherweight title defenses and 5 title fight wins. It is the second most in the UFC Featherweight division.

Alex has the highest significant strike differential (3.12) in UFC Featherweight history.

Alexander Volkanovski entered the fight weighing 154.5 lbs.

Islam Makhachev is now on a 12-fight win streak after defeating the best Pound for Pound and Featherweight champion by unanimous decision in the Lightweight title defense fight in the UFC 284 in a relatively close margin.

Islam has the longest consecutive active finishes record of the UFC.

Islam has the highest Significant Strike Rate (60.2%) and Highest Takedown Accuracy (66.7) in Lightweight History.

Islam Makhachev entered the fight weighing 155 lbs.

2. Detailed Fight Summary of Islam Vs Alex

Round 1: Both fighters touched gloves and showed great sportsmanship despite the hyped rivalry and the challenge of Islam. Makhachev positioned his traditional southpaw stance and Alex showed his notorious flinching and changing orthodox stance. Islam trying to understand the game plan from the inside and Alex moving around from the cage side.

Both fighters seemed extra cautious and hungry for an opportunity while Alex continuously moved while threatening from the right hand but it was Islam who landed the first body kick.

Alex tried to hurl but ended up in the air. Both swirling in circles and now Volk is pushing Islam with a swiftly changing stance.

Volk finally made contact and landed a low kick followed by the middle kick but the fight had barely started and Islam ate them. Alex looked pumped up and shouted, "Let's go” as he was waiting for this opportunity. Contrary to Islam’s calm and cautious approach, Alex showed great speed, movement, and enthusiasm.

It seemed Alex was relying on his speed and charging on to hunt Makhachev down but in vain. Islam might want to frustrate Alex but it was not working it was the speed of Alex which clearly engaged the attention of Islam. Alex closed the distance, remained low, tried to stand but Islam got hold of him and landed a knee, Volk tried to stand and recover and found himself clinched in the arms of Dagnistani.

Volk was responding to the jabs of Islam while Islam was hunting for a submission hold. Surprisingly Alex remained calm in the infamous neck crank (Khabib submitted Conor with a neck crank from the same position) attempt.

Makhachev seems helpless despite having both hooks in from the back position and arms around the face perfectly positioned for the neck crank. Islam tried another seemingly perfect neck crank attempt but the defense of Alex looked invincible and the first round ended with a dominating performance by Islam Makhachev.

Result of round one:

All three UFC judges unanimously scored the round with 9-10 Makhachev.  

Round 2: Alex looked confident while Islam was smiling, both appeared geared up in their corners. The start of the second round was a bit different with Makhachev remaining calm and Alex advancing more often with an intimidating appearance. Alex closed the distance and landed a jab in the body and received a body kick.

Alex tried a second time but hung in the air. Alex charges up and Islam lands a good jab and left hand then Islam scores another takedown.

Alex was found in the cage and Islam managed to strangle him in a waistlock while defending the jabs of Alex. Alex defended again and got up despite the strong strangle of Islam.

Both ended up in a clinch and Islam landed knees. Alex went for the cage and artistically reversed the position and now Alex is in full control but Islam landed a good knee in the process followed by a clean low kick.

Both fighters became fierce. At this point, Alex clearly outsmarted Islam in grappling but Islam landed some really good knees and scored two takedowns. 

In the next moment, Alex hurt Islam with a big left but had to eat a MASSIVE left that shook Alex a bit. Alex retreated and Islam advanced. That gave Islam confidence and now Alex is on defense. Islam was head hunting but Alex was focused on leg kicks.

Islam landed a huge uppercut followed by a clinch and a knee. Alex changed his position and stance and temporarily got hold of the leg of Islam.

Result of round two:

All three UFC judges unanimously scored the round with 9-10 Makhachev.

Round 3: At his corner, Alex told his corner that “Islam is not strong” and they informed Alex about the Panicking state of Islam and advised him to hold Islam in the bottom position.

At the start of the third round, Islam hadn't taken many shots, which was impressive.

Islam closed the distance and attacked, got defended, and was welcomed by a right hand but remained calm and looked composed. 

Alex landed a nice body shot and Islam countered with a swift clinch knee while trying to take Alex down by tossing him to the other side. Islam looked more agile compared to previous rounds and landed some nasty body kicks. Both fighters exchanged some jabs and kicks.

Islam advanced with a right hand and Alex defended with a low kick.

Alex closed the distance and ended in the clinch, Islam landed a good knee and tried to toss Alex but failed, Alex got hold of the cage, and after a few seconds Islam got the third takedown of the fight Alex gave up his back but stood up with his impressive grappling defense.

Alex breaks the cinch with a big hook and Islam advances and aggressively lands a nice left. Alex retaliated and landed a low kick and received a right hook. Alex has a cut on his left eyebrow. Alex advanced, Islam momentarily slipped but stood up at the same moment. Alex tried to score a takedown but failed.

Result of the third round:

Two judges scored the third round as 9-10 Makhachev and one judge scored 9-10 Alex.

Round 4: Third round was a close fight. But Islam did more damage.

Alex looked pumped, but Islam took advantage of his height and landed a nice left. Alex replied with a left hand and a powerful hook. There was an exchange of a right and left and Islam was hit with a low blow but both fighters continued to engage meanwhile Islam landed a staggering left.

The distance management of Islam was impressive. Whenever Alex tried to close the distance he was welcomed with some kicks and a combination of right and left. Alex closed the distance and WHAT A SPECTACULAR TAKEDOWN BY Islam.

Islam took him down in the center of the cage, Alex gave up his back again and crawled towards the cage. Islam took his back. Islam tried to submit Alex but the man was smiling, both exchanged jabs while Alex still strangled and continued his trash talk, looked frustrated, unable to free himself, engaged in hand fighting and the clock was running in the favor of Islam.

All three UFC judges unanimously scored the round with 9-10 Makhachev.

Round 5: Previous rounds clearly went in the favor of Islam, Alex needs a TKO or a submission to win this fight.

Both embraced each other before the start of the final round. Alex advanced and received a BIG left hand, acknowledged the blow, and retreated. Alex tried to close the distance but received a nasty knee followed by a mean left hand. It seemed Islam was using the speed of Alex against him.

Alex went for the hooks and ended up receiving big knees and the left side of his head started to bleed. Islam tried to score a single-leg takedown but Alex defended and swiftly positioned himself in the standing position.

Both fighters engaged in the clinch and landed some good knees and jabs but failed to score a takedown.

In the last minute, Alex scored a takedown and started ground-pounding. The whole RAC arena went mad and spectators were on their feet.

After five rounds of nail-biting fight Islam Makhachev won the lightweight title defense fight by the skin of his teeth against the No.1 pound-for-pound champion Alex Volkanovski by a unanimous decision of (48-47. 48,47, 49-46)

3. Daghistani Won the Fight: Ozzie Won the Hearts

Even in the pre-fight hype both fighters looked professional and acted like a real champion and derelict the trash talk norm. Before the fight, both rival champions decided to touch gloves which was a bit surprising and pleasant. At the start of each round, Volkanovski and Islam embraced each other and touched gloves.

Moments before the announcement of the decision both fighters looked optimistic for their win, but Alex showed a great spirit of sportsmanship and applauded and congratulated Islam for victory even though the fans were and still are divided on the decision.

During the winning speech, the RAC arena of Perth booed Islam but Alex can be seen in the background calming down the crowd even though he asked for a round of applause for Islam in his speech the Ozzie crowd was so pumped up, they seemingly ignored the request.

But the crowd was so pumped up and alive and in front of the home crowd every fighter must act a bit cranky but not Alex Volkanovski. Though he lost the match by a margin of teeth skin but Pound for Pound Ozzie Champion definitely won the hearts of millions around the globe.

4. Post-Fight Opinions of Alex Volkanovski & Islam Makhachev

“I would have liked to say this message with the win,” Volkanovski expressed in a post-fight interview in the cage. “Keep challenging yourself. I’m a better fighter because of this.”

“Just watched the fight, I definitely think I won [rounds] 2, 3, and 5,” he tweeted right after leaving the Octagon. “Surprised I didn’t get my hand raised! Let’s do the rematch, anywhere, anytime!”

“I’m my hardest critic, I always am,” Volkanovski said. “I f****** blow [ all my opponents], like I win massive fights and I still remember that one time [he almost dominated me]. I remember that one time I didn’t get something. That’s just how I am. I’m very, very harsh on myself and hard on myself.”

5. Mainstream Opinions about the Fight and the Result

Joe Rogan in Joe Rogan Experience and Eddie Bravo from 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu thought that Volkanovski won the fight by 3/2.

6. Volkanovski Yearns for an Immediate Rematch

Apparently Alex Volkanobski likes to stay in the Pound for Pound division and not returning to the featherweight division soon.

On social media, Ozzie calls Islam for an immediate rematch after Saturday’s close match loss against Islam at UFC 248, Perth, Australia. The unanimous verdict left the UFC community and fans divided with both sides persistent in their victory and calling out the judges.

After being asked about the rematch Volkanovski expressed to The MMA Hour:

“Yeah, 100 percent,” Volkanovski claimed on Monday. “He’s (Islam) already talked to the press that he wants to do the rematch. He (Islam) went back to his corner (after the fight) before they announced who the winner was, obviously it was a close fight, but I think he thought he might’ve lost. He was even saying he needs a rematch to his corner when he went back to his corner. He thought he lost. … He knows. I’m not taking anything away. It was a close fight, but yeah.”

7. Post UFC 248 Updated Pound-for-Pound Ranking

According to the UFC 248 post-fight UFC ranking of Pound for Pound ranking, UFC has retained Alex Volkanovski (25-2 MMA, 12-1 UFC) as the number 1. Pound for Pound Fighter and Islam Makhachev (24-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC) as the number 2. Pound for Pound Fighter.

8. UFC 248 Results

Fighter Opponent W/L/D Method Round
Islam Makhachev Alexander Volkanovski W Unanimous Decision R5
Yair Rodriguez Josh Emmett W Submission Via Triangle Choke  R2
Jack Della Maddalena Randy Brown W Submission Vis RNC R2
Justin Tafa Parker Porter W KO R2
Jimmy Crute Alonzo Menifield D Decision R5
Modestas Bukauskas Tyson Pedro W Unanimous Decision R5
Josh Culibao Josh Culibao W Submission Via RNC R5
Kleydson Rodrigues Shannon Ross W TKO R2
Jamie Mullarkey Francisco Prado W Unanimous Decision R5
Loma Lookboonmee Elise Reed W Submission Via RNC R3
Jack Jenkins Don Shainis W Unanimous Decision R5
Blake Bilder Shane Young W Unanimous Decision R5
Elves Brenner Zubaira Tukhugov W Split Decision R5

Photo Credit: @skysports

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