The UFC returns to Perth, Australia for a UFC 284, a huge pay-per-view card with two title fights including lightweight champion Islam Makhachev defending his title for the first time against current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
The current number one and number two ranked pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC will go head-to-head in the back yard of the challenger, as he looks to become a double champion.
The interim featherweight title will also be on the line in the co-main event, as Yair Rodriguez takes on Josh Emmett to see who will be the next challenger for Volkanovski should he return to the weight class.
We'll break down the main event between two of the best fighters in the business right now and see if we can earn you some extra cash with our best free UFC picks to earn you some extra cash.
Learn more about how to bet on the UFC here.
UFC 284 information
- Saturday, February 11th, 2023
- RAC Arena, Perth, Australia
- Main card starts 10pm ET
- Lightweight championship bout (155-pounds)
- 5 x 5 minute rounds
Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski
The best and most stacked division in the UFC just got even stronger as the pound-for-pound number one fighter and reigning featherweight champion moves up in weight to compete for the crown.
But he'll be coming up against the most dominant lightweight in the world since Khabib Nurmagomedov, as Islam Makhachev looks to make the division his own.
The Dagestani fighter holds a professional record of 23-1, and comes into this fight on an 11-fight win streak including his second-round submission win over Charles Oliveira last time out at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi.
He has split his wins with eight knockouts, 11 submissions and eight decisions across his career, and has won each of his last five fights via stoppage against Drew Dober, Thiago Moises, Dan Hooker, Bobby Green and Charles Oliveira.
Play Now100% bonus up to $1000
Play Now100% up to $1,000
Play Now100% up to $500
Play Now100% up to $300
Play Now50% up to $1000
Play Now$500 Sign Up Bonus
Play Now100% up to $500 + $500 at BetDsi's Casino
Play Now$500 Sign-up Bonus
Play Now100% up to $500
Volkanovski will fight at lightweight for the first time in his UFC career in this fight, but nobody is writing him off being successful because of how dominant he has been so far at 145-pounds.
"The Great" is so far undefeated in the UFC, with a professional record of 25-1 and a run of 12-0 in the organisation. His wins have been split with 12 knockouts, three submissions and ten decisions.
The Aussie fighter claimed the UFC title by defeating Max Hollloway for the title, and then beat him twice more to go 3-0 in their trilogy of title fights and cement himself as one of the best ever in that weight class.
He has also been victorious in two more title fights along the way, dominating Brian Ortega and then knocking out Korean Zombie.
A win will see him become the first man since Conor McGregor to be a simultaneous champion at both featherweight and lightweight, and the first double champion in the men's divisions since Henry Cejudo back in 2019.
Check out our review for BetOnline sports betting here.
Route to victory
Any fans of the sport know exactly how Makhachev is going to look to approach this fight, and that's because he approaches every fight the same way no matter the opponent.
Makhachev is a very good striker on the feet, but he always wants to close the distance and use his phenomenal grappling skills that set him apart from the rest of the division.
Once on the ground, he has got the unbelievable ability to control his opponents completely and pass through the stages to work for submissions or damage his opponents with ground and pound. He will have a considerable size advantage over Volkanovski in this bout and that will give him great encouragement with his usual style.
Volkanovski however will feel he can hold his own on the ground, with a strong wrestling background and excellent scrambling skills to avoid submissions, as shown against jiu-jitsu black belt Ortega.
On the feet Volk is a really technical striker, with excellent countering abilities and speed to go with his power and he will be packing an extra punch with the extra weight.
Add to that his phenomenal takedown defence and unbelievable cardio, plus the fact he has got bags of experience at the highest level and this is an exceptional stylistic match up.
UFC Picks: Makhachev gets the win
If there is one rule in mixed martial arts that matters most, it's that size matters for the most part and Makhachev is the bigger man.
Both fighters will welcome the grappling exchanges, and Makhachev is an exceptional fighter in that realm meaning he will be right at home.
We cannot ignore the fact that Volkanovski will have the crowd behind him in Australia, but Makhachev will be waiting to silence the crowd and knows that stylistically he has the beating of everyone right now.
I would be incredibly shocked if we saw a finish in this fight either way, because both guys are so exceptionally high level and defensively brilliant, but size will play a part eventually and I expect that Makhachev will be able to take the fight to the ground sooner rather than later and control the tempo and his opponent.
It won't be the most entertaining fight in the world, but it will be a display of super high level martial arts where on this occasion, the champion will retain his crown and continue as the lightweight champion of the world.