Makhachev Edges Volkanovski in UFC 284 Battle of Champions

UFC 284
There's an old saying in the fight game that a good big man beats a good little man. That was true at UFC 284, but just barely, as lightweight champion Islam Makhachev edged out a tough unanimous decision win over featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski to defend his title Sunday, local time, in Perth, Australia.

The fight was tight the whole way as the grappler, Makhachev, hung with Volkanovski on the feet while Volkanovski was largely able to neutralize Makhachev's next level grappling. The difference may have come down to Volkanovski getting over aggressive at a couple of key moments.

After suffering a flash knockdown that led to Makhachev taking him down and getting his back in the first, Volkanovski scored his own knockdown in the second. But charging in too quickly he got caught by another takedown interrupting his momentum. Later, after another takedown in the fourth, Volkanovski didn't appear to be in any danger but unwisely turned to his knees and tried to scoot to the fence. Makhachev instantly leaped on his back and rode him with a body triangle for the rest of the round.

Volkanovski came back strong in the final round, landing a big right hand that dropped Makhachev, then pounded him from inside the guard until the final bell. But Makhachev hung on to claim the hard fought decision.

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