The stars have aligned for a superfight between newly-crowned UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev and reigning UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284 on Feb. 11 from inside the RAC Arena in Perth, Western Australia.
UFC officials announced the main event matchup on Saturday.
Makhachev captured the undisputed UFC lightweight title with a submission over Charles Oliveira last month at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi. The performance gave Makhachev his 11th-straight win inside of the Octagon and provided him an opportunity to call out his next opponent. That’s when Makhachev took aim at Volkanovski sitting cageside and called out the UFC featherweight king to a meeting in Australia.
Volkanovski, who was in attendance at UFC 280 as a potential main event backup, wasted no time in accepting the challenge. The 145-pound king is coming off his third and most dominant win over Max Holloway and is now 12-0 since joining the promotion back in 2016. As one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport today it make sense for Volkanovski to take a step up in competition and try to claim a second belt.
As far as the fight itself, Makhachev is understandably an early betting favorite. The Russian champion is the successor to Khabib Nurmagomedov at 155 pounds and has looked downright unstoppable over the past six years. So even though Volkanovski has competed as big as welterweight early into his professional fighting career the former rugby player will need to pack on some muscle if he wants to defend the wrestling attacks and sheer size of Makhachev.
UFC 284 remains a work in progress but the upcoming Australia card is also expected to feature a middleweight clash between former UFC champion Robert Whittaker and Brazilian powerhouse Paulo Costa.
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