What a warrior.
Alex Volkanovski failed painfully in his bid to become a double UFC champion in an epic lightweight fight with Islam Makhachev in Perth.
The Australian went the distance with the venerable Russian, who narrowly prevailed via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) to retain his lightweight belt.
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Makhachev v. Volkanovski Fighting Highlights | 03:05
Volkanovsky wasn’t afraid to go on the offensive, but Makhachev played to his strength, dropping Volk and spending much of the fight with him pinned to the canvas by the fence.
Volkanovski showed tremendous stamina to throw off an infinite choke and somehow defended well enough to give himself a chance to win a strong finish to the fight.
The 34-year-old stormed home in the fifth round, took a forfeit and punished Makhachev with some classic ground and pound, but it wasn’t enough for the Aussie to seal the win.
Makhachev nailed frequent takedowns and used his impressive wrestling skills to finally get a nod on the final scorecards.
But Volkanovski can hold his head high after giving the UFC’s most feared fighter the hardest fight of his career.
The Australian was in contention to become the eighth fighter ever to conquer two divisions and the fifth to hold two belts simultaneously.
Many UFC pundits argued that Volkanovsky was robbed of the win, pointing to the judge scoring the fight 49-46 in favor of Makhachev.
UFC legend Nate Diaz tweeted: “Yeah, true Islam got his butt cracking.”
ESPN’s Laurie Horish said, “Who scored that 49-46? Laughable.”
Rapper Lil Wayne wrote, “Not sure if I’ll ever watch the UFC again.”
Volkanowski awaits another defense of his featherweight title, and there’s no doubt that he’ll want another crack at reaching dual champion status very soon.
Earlier on the UFC 284 card, the event was headlined by wins from Australian fighters Jack Jenkins, Jimmy Mularkey, Josh Colepaw, Justin Tava and Jack Della Maddalena.
Volkvanovski and Makhachev updates round after round
first round: Volkanovsky got off to a brisk start, landing a powerful punch to the chin and changing stances, but Makhachev finished the round strong.
The Russian made a jab of his own and floored Faulk and bunted the remainder of the round against the fence, causing Aussie a heavy choke.
Second round: Makhachev shows why he is the best wrestler in the game.
Volkanovsky landed a shot but just like in the first round, Makhachev immediately took it and put his grappling skills to work.
Volk is putting up a hell of a fight, but the Russian is ahead and may have the advantage on the scorecards.
Third round: Volkanovsky fights one hell of a fight, defending the relentlessly grappling well of Makhachev.
Volk may have won one round so far versus Makhachev’s two, so he’ll need an epic finish to win this fight. Very close combat that could go into a long distance.
Fourth round: Volk may have taken that round and somehow still had a fighting chance.
Makhachev pinned him to the fence and Volkanovsky was furious tweeting as they banged each other’s heads at the end of the round.
Fifth round: Volkanovsky survived another defeat from Islam and managed to knock the fight down a minute early.
The Australian finished with some ground and pound to give himself half a chance on the scorecards.
Volk gives a dignified interview after the fight | 02:30
The Australian dollar continues to climb in a hot streak
Jack Della Maddalena proved why he’s the next big thing in the UFC with his first round win over Randy Brown.
Fighting in front of his home crowd, the local Perth lad made Brown’s face with a right hand, before swooping in and hitting him with some ground and pound.
Maddalena finished the job with a textbook naked rear choke.
Another fight, another clinical win from the rising welterweight star.
Maddalena has now won all four of his first-round UFC fights.
Now he has his sights set on a fight with an opponent who is ranked in the top fifteen.
UFC commentator Jon Anik said: Jacques Della Maddalena is the real deal! “
“That was exciting!” said Michael Bisping.
Justin Tava’s Crazy Trip KO
Sheesh. It took just a minute for Australian heavyweight Justin Tava to defeat Parker Porter by knockout.
Tava waited for an opening and landed a brutal left hook to Porter’s chin, finishing the job with a right hand that knocked Porter down, seeing the Stars splatter his blood onto the canvas.
It is Tafa’s third win from six UFC matches.
Jimmy Crutt fights back
The main card is underway and Australian Jimmy Crote has had a brutal draw against Alonzo Minifield.
Minifield knocked Crute out with several blows in the first round but the Australian showed he had a granite chin to stay afloat and go the distance.
Crute secured several landings and Menifield pinned down a point to grab the fence late in the fight.
The Australian dollar is making a crazy comeback
Josh Colebaugh is the third Australian fighter to win after his epic victory over Melisek Bagdasarian.
Colepaw wore a spinning heel from Baghdasaryan that landed where he didn’t want anyone to hit him.
He was allowed five minutes to recover from the low blow, but Colepaw got back into action within two minutes.
Kolibao claimed that he made an illegal headbutt in the second round, but the referee did not stop the fight.
Seizing his opportunity, the Australian swooped in to take Baghdasaryan to the canvas and pinned a naked chokehold behind him which the Armenian quickly tapped.
The Aussie makes a statement upon his debut
Jack Jenkins made a statement in his UFC debut, defeating Don Shainis via unanimous decision.
Jenkins hit Shinnis with some brutal leg kicks in the opening round, before Shinnis was able to knock Jenkins to the floor in the second round.
But the Australian finished off Shinice, nearly choking in the stern of the ship.
He was far from sending the American to another planet with a leg kick for the win, but secured the victory with several landings.
Jimmy Mularkey also defeated Francisco Prado by unanimous decision and called up Australian cult English champion Buddy Pemblett after the win.
Volkanowski to break McGregor’s record
The eyes of Australia and the MMA world are on UFC 284, and they could see Alex Volkanovski break the record for most pay-per-view fights in a UFC fight.
The massive fight between Volkanovsky and Islam Makhachev, the No. 1 and No. 2 fighters in the world, has a PPV record on notice.
The long-standing PPV buy record is from Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in 2018, which sold 2.4 million PPVs.
“I don’t think it ever happened – number one and number two pound for pound (fighting each other),” said UFC President Dana White.
“I mean, it’s a monster battle and you know, just the gate alone would be an MSG type gate.
And the pay-per-view pre-purchases… beats all the fights of its kind and potentially breaks the Australian and New Zealand pay-per-view record, the UFC record (at the time), which was Conor and someone, but looks like it’s going to break that record. Standard. “It’s a monster fight.”
McGregor is set to return to the Octagon against Michael Chandler in his first fight in the UFC since breaking his leg two years ago.
How do you watch UFC 284?
UFC 284 is available to stream via Main Event and Kayo.
The full UFC 284 fight card
Alex Volkanovski defeated Islam Makhachev by unanimous decision
Yair Rodriguez beat Josh Emmett via submission (triangle choke)
Jacques Della Maddalena defends Randy Brown via submission (R1 2.13)
Justin Tava defeated Parker Porter via KO (R1 1.06)
Jimmy Krutt vs. Alonzo Minifield – Draw
Modestas Bukauskas defeated Tyson Pedro via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x 2)
Josh Colebaugh def Melsik Baghdasaryan via submission (R2 rear naked choke)
Claydon Rodriguez defended Shannon Ross via R1 TKO
Jimmy Mularkey defeats Francisco Prado via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Jack Jenkins defended Don Shinis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28))
Loma Lookboonme def Elise Reed via submission (naked rear choke round 2)
Blake Builder defeated Shin Young via unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28)
Elves Brenner beat Zubhaira Tukhugov via split decision (29-28, 30-27)
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