This coming Saturday, February 11th, the UFC will host arguably the most iconic pay-per-view in its history, UFC 284. For the first time in the history of the UFC, the number 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world will take on the number 2 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Pound-for-pound king and featherweight champ Alexander “the Great” Volkanovski will fight up a division and challenge Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title. Arguably the most skilled matchup in mixed martial arts history, the action will take place in Perth, Australia. After a more than three-year absence, since the UFC hosted an event in Australia, 284 looks to be a thrilling affair. The fights begin at 3 pm PT and the main card will begin at 7 pm PT at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.
Current featherweight champ and pound-for-pound king Alexander Volkanovski is one of the most sensational fighters in the world of mixed martial arts today. Hailing from New South Wales, Australia, Volkanovski has quickly made a name for himself as a fierce and relentless champion, known for his exceptional striking skills and relentless fighting spirit.
Volkanovski made his professional debut in 2012, and since then, he has been on an unstoppable rise to the top of the featherweight division of the UFC. He has taken on and defeated the best fighters in the world, including former champions and contenders. In 2019, Volkanovski made history by becoming the first Australian fighter to win a UFC title, when he defeated the long-reigning champion Max Holloway at UFC 245. He followed that up with a dominant performance in a rematch against Holloway, and then beat down Holloway in brutal fashion in their trilogy bout this past July. With a record of 25 wins and one loss, Volkanovski is undefeated in the UFC and hasn’t lost since his fourth pro fight. He is truly one of the most exciting and dominant fighters in the world of mixed martial arts today, and his legacy will continue to grow with each and every fight. Volkanovski faces his biggest test to date against current lightweight champ Islam Makhachev which will give Volkanovski the opportunity to earn double champ status and cement his Hall of Fame legacy.
His opponent, Islam Makhachev is one of the most promising and fearsome fighters in the world of mixed martial arts. Fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia, Islam has risen to the top of the lightweight division with his robust and exceptional sambo grappling skills. Islam is the pupil of lightweight G.O.A.T Khabib Nurmagomedov and Khabib’s late father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. Islam has been training mixed martial arts his entire life and represents the top-level talent that continues to come out of Dagestan, Russia.
Islam made his professional debut in 2011, and since then, has repeatedly dominated his opposition from start to finish. He has beaten some of the best fighters in the world, with his most notable win coming in his last fight when he captured the lightweight belt over legend Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira. Islam’s grappling skills are especially noteworthy, as he has demonstrated a mastery of submissions and grappling skills that have made him a force to be reckoned with in the octagon. He has finished his last five consecutive fights with four of those finishes coming via submission. With a record of 23 wins and only one loss, Islam is quickly establishing himself as one of the top fighters in the world. With his relentless pace and aggressive grappling style, Makhachev comes in as a solid favorite over Volkanovski. Islam seeks to cement his own legacy and defend his lightweight title for the first time this coming Saturday in Volkanovski’s home country of Australia.
In the co-main event of the evening, Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez will take on Josh Emmett in an interim featherweight title fight. While current featherweight champ Alex Volkanovski is fighting up a weight class at lightweight, the UFC is giving Rodriguez and Emmett the opportunity to capture the interim featherweight title. Should Volkanovski return to the featherweight division after his fight with Makhachev, the winner of this interim featherweight title fight will get the opportunity to unify the belt with the current undisputed featherweight champ.
Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett are two of the most lethal strikers in all of mixed martial arts and this interim bout should make for a striker’s delight. Yair is coming off a win over featherweight staple Brian Ortega which ended with an Ortega shoulder injury in the first round. Yair will look to use his dynamic kickboxing style and uber-athletic agility to produce another highlight-worthy finish while capturing the interim featherweight title. Emmett on the other hand is coming off a close split decision victory over dangerous Boston contender Calvin Kattar. Emmett has a well-rounded game that includes a robust wrestling game and terrifying one-punch knockout power. He’ll look to use his destructive power to eliminate Yair Rodriguez and capture the interim featherweight title.
Before the co-main event, a spirited welterweight contender fight is on the books. Hometown boy and Perth legend Jack Della Maddalena will take on Jamaican sensation “Rude Boy” Randy Brown. Jack Della Maddalena is off to an incredible start with the promotion with three consecutive first-round knockouts to begin his UFC tenure. His striking talents are off the charts, with remarkable crisp boxing skills and exceptional defensive striking instincts. Maddalena will look to use his sharp skills on the feet to continue his winning streak and push for a future title elimination bout. His opponent Randy Brown brings in an active and lengthy striking style. Currently, on a four-fight winning streak, Brown has been in the UFC since January of 2016 and will look to use his experience to quell the Maddalena hype train. Similar to the co-main event, this fight should be a fiery striker’s affair that features two of the most lethal strikers in the welterweight division.
Among the three fights mentioned above, UFC 284 is stacked with legit prospects showcasing their skills from top to bottom. Notable standouts include Australian Light Heavyweights Tyson Pedro and Jimmy Crute, Armenian kickboxer Melsik Baghdasaryan, and Brazilian Kleydson Rodrigues among others. The early preliminary card will begin at 3 pm PT, followed by the preliminary card at 5 pm PT, and finally the main card at 7 pm PT. The action will take place at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia this Saturday, February 11th, on ESPN+ and ESPN+ PPV.