UFC 284 |  Islam Makhachev wins, but is Alexander Volkanovsky still the best?

UFC 284 | Islam Makhachev wins, but is Alexander Volkanovsky still the best?

I planted the seeds

Islam Makhachev massively defeated Charles Oliveira at UFC 280. With that, he not only snatched the lightweight title from the Brazilian, but also took second place in the pound pound classification. Khabib Nurmagomedov then proved that he is not only a good coach, but also an excellent matchmaker.

Islam Makhachev rests on the shoulders of Khabib Nurmagomedov after winning the title

Photo: Getty Images


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He suggested fighting with Alexander Volkanovsky immediately after that. The featherweight champion was the leader of P4P. The victory over the Australian will automatically make Makhachev the best fighter at the moment. In addition, the fight is possible because the #1 and #2 weight classes are close together.

Lightweight champion Islam Makhachev meets featherweight champion Aleksandr Volkanovski for the lightweight title

Photo: Getty Images

Volkanovski himself was present in Abu Dhabi and immediately responded to the call. He entered the appraiser and made it official. The lightweight title is at stake and pound pound #1 in the game. Bring it on!” they voted with thatthe greatWith the terms a historic battle was in the making.


We now know that the judges unanimously awarded the fight to Makhachev. With this decision, the Russian remains the champion and thus will take Volkanovski’s place in the pound pound Take over the arrangement. However, when the new ratings were announced on Tuesday, everything was still the same. Volkanovsky is still the king of pound for pound so he is ahead of Makhachev who is still second on the list.

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Makhachev himself was not surprised by the decision. He believes he sees a pattern in the UFC’s attitude towards Russian fighters. By this he refers to the controversial decisions after the last battles of Peter Yan and Magomed Ankalaev.


The question remains how it is possible that the UFC themselves promoted the pound-for-pound No. 1 fight, they recognized Islam himself as the new No. 1, but then did not implement this in the actual ranking.

To paint a clear picture of this, we need to define what these are pound pound actually ranking. Simply put, it’s an arrangement that transcends weight divisions. Who would be the best fighter if everyone was the same weight?

It’s hard to say. For example, it’s hard to get a picture of how Brandon Moreno will handle Israel Adesanya. The list is, as it is, fictitious and based on opinions and expectations. These come from a media panel put together by the UFC.


It is not known what this committee bases its opinion on. The UFC has not set any standards for this. When looking at the current pound-for-pound rating, a few things stand out. First, there are six champions in the top ten. Then there are four points left. Oliveira (No. 8), Osman (No. 4), and Adesanya (No. 5) take three. They lost their last title defense. However, Adesanya returned to the top of Pereira (No. 6), as the Brazilian snatched the title from Adesanya. We can see from this that in a P4P ranking, you don’t simply outsmart your opponent by winning. This was confirmed again this week by Makhachev.

So there is more involvement. Obviously, Pereira is relatively new to the UFC. He only fought four fights for the organization. Adesanya alone defended his title five times. So it seems your track record within the UFC is also important. Something that Islam does not lack, fearful. He owns 12 consecutive fights in the organization. So what explains its second number on the list?

UFC 280 | Makhachev takes the title by finishing Oliveira in the second round

Photo: Eurosport

This could be related to two things. First of all, Volkanovsky paid a visit to Makhachev’s normal weight category. He is not used to fighting in lightweight. On paper, the challenge is greater for him, which gives him more credibility. In addition, the Australian performed very well in a weight class unknown to him. According to some experts, he should have won. It seems the committee members are looking for a clearer statement for the first position.

Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovsky are on the scales

Photo: Getty Images

This was also the Russian’s first title defense. Volkanovsky has already done this four times. The names he did against them weren’t disgusting either. He was twice as powerful as Holloway, dominated The Korean Zombie and left little Brian Ortega behind. He also won the title against Holloway and forced a unanimous decision victory over Aldo. Makhachev’s “big names” are limited to Charles Oliveira and Volkanovski. This may also be a factor for the board.

Dana White

Photo: Getty Images

In retrospect, it was a special decision to let Makhachev and Volkanovsky fight for first place in pound for pound. This is because the UFC itself has absolutely no influence on the ratings and relies on journalists from their panel. On the basis of what exactly these journalists gather, the list remains unclear to this day. The most important factors seem to be title defenses, win streaks, and the fighter’s resume build within the UFC. As a result, we can conclude that the UFC lured both Makhachev and the MMA community into this fight on false terms. They knew in advance that this outcome could become a reality.


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