UFC 284 kicks off with a 13-fight card that finishes with Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski for the UFC Lightweight title. The event will take place live from the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia on Saturday, Feb. 11, and will also feature a co-main event of Yair Rodriguez vs. Josh Emmett for the interim UFC featherweight title. ESPN+ PPV will carry the main card starting at 10 p.m. ET.
Volkanovski (25-1) has won 21 consecutive fights last losing in May 2013 as part of the Australian FC promotion. He entered the UFC in November 2016 defeating Yukuse Kasuya by TKO in the second round. Volkanovski continued working through the 145-pound division and beat former featherweight champion Jose Aldo by unanimous decision at UFC 237 to earn a title shot against Max Holloway. At UFC 245 Volkanovski dominated Holloway over five rounds to win the UFC featherweight championship. Holloway demanded an immediate rematch and got one at UFC 251. This fight was much closer, with Holloway making some significant adjustments and winning the first two rounds easily. Volkanovski won the next two on all three scorecards and the fifth round was extremely close with two judges giving Volkanovski the round and the split-decision win. 18 of 27 media members at ringside thought Holloway won the fight and many other fighters agreed.
‘Alexander the Great” dispatched on Brian Ortega and “The Korean Zombie” Jung Chan-sung in his next two title defenses before a third fight with Holloway at UFC 276. This time Volkanovski left zero doubt who the best 145-pound fighter in the world was, dominating Holloway over five rounds and effectively cleaning out the division. After the fight Volkanovski expressed a desire to return to Australia and challenge for the lightweight championship.
Makhachev (23-1) has won 11 fights in a row, not losing since October 2015. He patiently climbed his way up the lightweight ladder with several top-five fighters opting against fighting him. At UFC 280, Makhachev took on Charles Oliveira for the UFC lightweight title. The fight was an impressive show of force by Makhachev, who dominated the first one and won with an arm-triangle in the second round. He is a -380 betting favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Volkanovski is betting at +310 on the money line.