Makhachev beat Volkanovski to retain lightweight title

The Russian UFC star extended his winning streak to 12

By Web Desk
February 12, 2023
Islam Makhachev (R) edged a valiant Alexander Volkanovski in a close match — UFC 

Russia's Islam Makhachev defeated featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski by unanimous decision to retain his lightweight championship at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia.

Makhachev edged a valiant Volkanovski in a close match, thanks to his offensive wrestling and counter-strikes.

Volkanovski was moving up to lightweight in the hopes of becoming the sixth simultaneous double UFC champion, joining Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, Daniel Cormier, and Henry Cejudo.

Meanwhile, Makhachev was making his first championship defence since defeating Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 in October last year.

Makhachev wore a serious and focused expression as he was booed after exiting the ring, while Volkanovski was greeted with a raucous round of applause by the Australians inside the RAC Arena.

With the win, Makhachev's winning streak — now the longest in the promotion — was extended to 12 fights, ending Volkanovski's 12-fight UFC winning streak.

"I thought he was going to be easy on the ground but this guy proved he wasn't. I showed why I am number one. If you like it, I am the best fighter in the world right now, thank you," said Makhachev.

Meanwhile, Volkanovski honoured his rival.

"I appreciate the support but let's have a round of applause for Islam. Obviously, a lot of people are going to be happy with that because they didn't give me a chance but it was a fun fight," he said.

"Obviously I'd like to say this message with a win but there's nothing wrong with challenging yourself. Challenge yourself like this it only makes you stronger. You can see I can get the job done but I came up short tonight, congrats to Islam, great fighter."