UFC 284 was sparingly promoted, but was an explosive show in every way.
The aftermath of the show left two champions in transition, and a star waiting to break into the big time. Let’s go over what we learned from UFC 284.
UFC 284: Makhachev vs Volkanovski Results
Islam Makhachev defeats Alexander Volkanovski by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
Yair Rodriguez defeats Josh Emmett by submission (triangle choke) at 4:19 of Round 2
Jack Della Maddalena defeats Randy Brown by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:13 of Round 1
Justin Tafa defeats Parker Porter by KO (left hand) at 1:06 of Round 1
Jimmy Crute and Alonzo Menifield battle to a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
Joshua Culibao defeats Melsik Baghdasaryan by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:02 of Round 2
Kleydson Rodrigues defeats Shannon Ross by TKO (strikes) at 0:59 of Round 1
Jamie Mullarkey defeats Francisco Prado by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jack Jenkins defeats Don Shainis by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Loma Lookboonmee defeats Elise Reed by submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:44 of Round 2
Blake Bilder defeats Shane Young by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Elves Brenner defeats Zubaira Tukhugov by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Heavy is the head that wears the crown
Makhachev (24-1) did not have it easy against the smaller, yet supremely motivated Volkanovski (25-2), who fought him tooth and nail in the main event. The Dagestani champion’s grappling and size ultimately won the day, winning a close decision and keeping the lightweight title around his waist. There were some in the MMA community that thought it was a dodgy decision, but let’s be clear that a close fight is never a robbery, and Makhachev deserved the win despite Volkanovski’s gallant effort.
Even so, Makhachev is in an odd spot. Despite the victory, who else is there for him to face? The logical choice would be for him to face Dustin Poirier at some point, but Poirier wants nothing to do with him. Rematches with Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje aren’t likely to generate much interest, either. A popular thought is that Makhachev could face Conor McGregor if the Irishman successfully beats Michael Chandler later this year, but it will have to align with McGregor’s financial demands.
That leaves a rematch with Volkanovski, but we can nix that as well. As good as he looked, Volkanovski isn’t going to follow the footsteps of Max Holloway and get pummeled in a division he doesn’t belong in. With Yair Rodriguez holding the interim featherweight title, he has his next fight locked and loaded. We sadly can’t say the same for the winner.
Yair Rodriguez reigns it in against Josh Emmett
One of the closest fights on paper was the interim featherweight title fight between Rodriguez (15-3) and Emmett (18-3). Emmett had been on a long winning streak whereas Rodriguez had been taking wins and losses against some of the division’s best fighters. It was Rodriguez’s speed and activity that allowed him to score a huge win by submitting Emmett in the second round.
Rodriguez strafed Emmett with shots, often avoiding Emmett’s return fire. Though Emmett caught Rodriguez late in the first round, he was unable to capitalize on it. By the start of the second, Rodriguez’s stern body work was already showing its effects as Emmett was visibly slowing. When Rodriguez caught Emmett in the arm triangle, there was no fight left and the submission came at 4:19 in round 2.
This was a big night for Rodriguez, but an interim title is probably as good as it is going to get for him. When Volkanovski makes his inevitable return to the division to challenge him, that fight is likely to be a wipeout.
Jack Della Maddelena is for real
Though he was more than a 3/1 favorite, Della Maddelena (16-2) was expected to have some trouble against Randy Brown (16-5). Brown’s length and experience was supposed to give Della Maddelena a gut check before ascending to big fights at welterweight, but that was nowhere close to happening.
The blisteringly strong Aussie blasted Brown with shots early on, then blasted him with a right hand that put him on his back. There wasn’t much left to expect at that point. Della Maddelena battered Brown and was able to take his back and choke him out for a rapid win.
Beating Brown in short order should make it clear that Della Maddelena is on his way to a major fight. There’s no reason why Della Maddelena takes a shot at the division’s top fighters in his next fight. Our suggestion? A beautiful fight with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.