Bryce Mitchell has no doubts whatsoever that the wrong man won at UFC 284 last month (Feb. 12, 2023) in Perth, Australia.
UFC’s most recent “Champion vs. Champion” battle between Lightweight’s Islam Makhachev and Featherweight’s Alexander Volkanovski is one of the early frontrunners for 2023’s best fight.
Unfortunately, the result left a sour taste in the mouths of several fans and fighters.
Makhachev retained his title via a hard-fought and competitive unanimous decision (watch highlights). Mitchell — UFC’s No. 11-ranked Featherweight contender — still simply can’t wrap his head around how the 145-pound division’s titleholder didn’t claim a second UFC belt “Down Under.”
“That fight was rigged as f—k, dude,’ Mitchell told Fanatics View. “But he (Makhachev) brings in all that money from the Middle East. When you’re bringing in that kind of oil money and all that Middle Eastern money, bro ... Like, all the rich people in the world, they’re all from the Middle East. I guess they just f—kin’ paid the judges to — I don’t know.
“I know Alexander Volkanovski won a decision,” he stated. “I don’t think nothing. I know he won and I know that s—t was rigged, and I’m not f—cking stupid. You can’t tell me that s—t wasn’t rigged. I’m not buying it. You can pay them judges whatever you want to pay ‘em. I know Alexander Volkanovski won that fight.”
Like Mitchell, Volkanovski “definitely” feels he did enough to earn the nod on the night, and now hopes for a Makhachev rematch at some point down the line if not next. Until then, “The Great” will have to defend his crown against the new interim 145-pound titlist, Yair Rodriguez, at a date to be determined. Meanwhile, Mitchell hopes to rebound off his Ilia Topuria submission loss (watch highlights) in Dec. 2022 against Jonathan Pearce at UFC 288 on May 6, 2023, in Newark, New Jersey.
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