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UFC 284: Makhachev vs. Volkanovski Predictions

The main event at UFC 284: Makhachev vs. Volkanovski is a doozy with current champions going toe to toe inside the octagon Saturday in Perth, Australia. Current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski steps up a class to battle undefeated Islam Makhachev for the lightweight strap. Makhachev earned the belt last time out with a submission win over Charles Oliveira, his 11th straight win and fifth in a row by stoppage.

That streak won’t scare Alexander Volkanovski, who has yet to lose in 12 UFC bouts and has 22 consecutive triumphs overall. Not losing a fight since 2013, Volkanovski probably feels invincible, which could explain his willingness to jump up a class and take on the best lightweight in the sport. Oddsmakers aren’t so thrilled, though, pegging “The Great” as a +307 dog on the UFC betting line, the longest odds in his career. He’s 3-0 as an underdog in his UFC career but never had longer odds than +145 in those fights.

With Volkanovski migrating to lightweight, the UFC will fill the featherweight void with an interim title bout between Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett as the co-main event. Long thought to be a contender in the division, Rodriguez has struggled to put together consistent fights, but he is an exceptional talent with the chance to finally make his mark. With injury issues hopefully behind him, Emmett takes a five-fight winning streak into the bout further cementing his status as a top featherweight contender.

There will be plenty of action inside the Octagon with 13 scheduled bouts making up the fight card on Saturday, February 11, 2023 from RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. Early prelims start at 6 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN+. Preliminary round bouts are on ESPN and ESPN+ starting at 8 p.m. ET with the main card on ESPN pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET. Betting options for every fight on the ticket are available at BookMaker.eu when you’re ready to place a wager.

UFC 284: Main Card Odds

Alexander Volkanovski +307 vs. Islam Makhachev -425

Josh Emmett +131 vs. Yair Rodriguez -165

Randy Brown +261 vs. Jack Della Maddalena -350

Justin Tafa -140 vs. Parker Porter +110

Alonzo Menifield +168 vs. Jimmy Crute -215

Volkanovski +307 vs. Islam Makhachev -425

The title fight between Makhachev (23-1) and Volkanovski (25-1) is the headliner for a reason. It could possibly be the best matchup UFC has ever seen and will determine the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. Volkanovski got what he wanted with a desire to challenge for Makhachev’s belt and he won’t back away. But there are several factors working against him.

Makhachev is relentless and if he gets his opponent to the mat most times it’s game over. He has all kinds of submission techniques with his last five fights being stopped, none of the last three making past two rounds. He also has a size and reach advantage that he’ll use to fend off the aggressive approach of Volkanovski. If “The Great” can stay on his feet he has a chance to pull off the upset, but that’s a big if.

Prediction: Islam Makhachev / (T)KO

Josh Emmett +131 vs. Yair Rodriguez -165

The co-main event has some storylines as well with the interim featherweight belt up for grabs. Yair Rodriguez (14-3) is the favorite over Josh Emmett (18-2) in a contrast of styles. When he’s on Rodriguez is a threat. He’s a true striker and fearless when head to head with an opponent. He also has a size advantage, which he used to bust up Max Holloway. Though Rodriguez lost that fight he showed off power and precision that Emmett will find tough to defend.

Emmett doesn’t like to get hit and he does a better job than most protecting himself. He’ll wait for his opportunity to strike when Rodriguez leaves himself vulnerable with wild attacks. At 37 Emmett has fought some of the best and has learned a few things along the way. If the fight goes the distance I like Emmett’s chances on the scorecards.

Prediction: Josh Emmett / Decision

UFC 284 Prelim Odds

Modestas Bukauskas +197 vs. Tyson Pedro -255

Joshua Culibao -121 vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan -109

Shannon Ross +250 vs. Kleydson Rodrigues -333

Francisco Prado +207 vs. Jamie Mullarkey -270

The prelims are highlighted by a light heavyweight bout between Tyson Pedro (9-3) and Modestas Bukauskas (13-5). Pedro looks to continue his ascension up the ranks making up for lost time. He ended a more than three-year absence from the octagon in 2022 with first round stoppages of Ike Villanueva and Harry Hunsucker. He needed some time away to regroup after back to back losses. At 31 he’s still in his prime with a chance to move forward with another victory.

UFC 284: Early Prelims Odds

Don Shainis +258 vs. Jack Jenkins -345

Elise Reed +211 vs. Loma Lookboonmee -275

Shane Young -135 vs. Blake Bilder +105

Elves Brenner +395 vs. Zubaira Tukhugov -580

Ken Henson
Ken Henson
Ken covers horse racing, soccer, tennis and golf for BigOnSports.com.

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