Prediction for the fight Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski

The new fighting season of 2023 is only gaining momentum, but this does not in the least prevent the UFC team from raising the degree of heat to peak values already now. The promotion's Australian weekend, scheduled for February 12, guarantees viewers one of the most heated confrontations in recent years: featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will try to take the belt from the newly-minted lightweight king, Islam Makhachev.

The duel of these guys will become the headliner of the UFC 284 event, and aims for the title of that very historical event when one athlete tries to break into the cast of double league champions. History will be happening right before our eyes, and despite the fact that the lion's share of experts does not give Alex a chance to win, there is not the slightest doubt that he will become one of the toughest tests for a native of Nurmagomedov's team.

Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski

Islam Makhachev

Our fighter is not only the holder of the UFC 70 kg title, but also the person sitting on the second line of the P4P rating. In the past, he is the world champion in combat sambo among amateurs, the world champion in BS in the pro (World Federation), the champion of Russia and the All-Russian level. Also, Islam has the title of champion of the North Caucasus District in grappling (UWW), and MSMK in sambo.

After his debut in professional mixed martial arts, Makhachev distinguished himself with performances in ProFC, where he took over the national cup, M-1, and since 2015, he has been performing in the UFC, striding with a convincing record of 12-1. Islam is considered one of the best adherents of wrestling in MMA, as well as a worthy successor to the champion throne after the departure of Khabib Nurmagomedov.


Those who watch Makhachev's training process noted that his fighting style on the ground is not as aggressive as that of the "Eagle", but much more densely packed with small details, consistency and control. Lack of haste, attention to changing positions and a rich arsenal of submissions turn the fight against the Russian into a real nightmare even for top grapplers and jitsers.

Admiring Islam's partner, many did not have time to notice how seriously he had progressed in boxing technique. Preparation of attacks, timing, tight hooks and jab, accuracy of work - this guy becomes a real problem.

Makhachev is not the biggest lightweight in the league, but even light heavyweights who have sparred with him respect his physical strength. A clinch with him and any actions on the ground deprive the opposition of strength and self-confidence.


If we compare the Russian with the top strikers in the division, of course, he still has enough gaps in his stance. Combinations, movements - all this needs to be improved, but close to ideal protection levels out these shortcomings.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

Islam is only 31 years old, he is in peak condition, however, this is not the limit of his physical capabilities. A series of 11 victories, the last 5 - early, moreover, over such rivals as: Dan Hooker, Charles Oliveira, Thiago Moises, Bobby Green and others, do not require any comments. Makhachev has just won the belt and has already received a “dream fight”, from a media point of view, for sure. That is why there is not the slightest doubt in his motivation and readiness to conquer new heights.

Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski

Alexander Volkanovski

UFC featherweight leader and P4P No. 1 Alexander "Veliky" was a champion in 5 MMA leagues before he made his debut in the top promotion. He owned belts in two weight categories of the Roshambo organization at once, at 66 kg he became the owner of the belt in the AFC, PXC, and Wollongong Wars. In Cage Conquest, Volkanovski took the welterweight title altogether.

Among other things, doing Greco-Roman wrestling, Alex became a national champion at the amateur level. He went over the heads of the top prospects, and then the division elite, removing 2 champions from his path - Jose Aldo and Max Holloway, and passing a number of major stars of the promotion, and some of them frankly declassed.


Volkanovski is the only fighter who was able to recycle the cardio machine - Holloway. In tight fights with exchanges and wrestling, he works frighteningly actively, and in the last 3 years he had 4 bouts 25 minutes long.

Alex is very good on the hands, but it is the kickboxing technique that gives him endless opportunities to develop plans to destroy rivals. Almost 30% of Veliky's strikes are lowkicks in various types, and here we add a subtle sense of distance, with close to perfect timing.

Volkanovski's resilience, mobility, physical gifts and toughness of character helped him get out of the most difficult situations. The important thing is that he is able to rebuild the game plan during the meeting, think, assess the situation and not give up until the end.


In the featherweight division, the Aussie has almost always had fewer opponents, to say nothing of moving up to 70 kg. This is both a plus (superiority in speed) and a minus, since it is always difficult to compete with big guys. In addition, Alex has never fought a top-level wrestler before. With grapplers and jets - yes, but reaching a new level will definitely reveal many shortcomings in this aspect.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

The champion is 34 years old and right now he is at the stage of his career when you need to go for broke. A streak of 22 victories, a series of crazy battles with the aforementioned Holloway, Brian Ortega, the Korean Zombie and Aldo made it clear that Volkanovski is special. At the moment, he is in a career position where the lion's share of athletes begins to decline, which explains the move towards a risky confrontation with Makhachev. Be that as it may, Alex's condition is impressive, he has been resting since the summer of last year, he is hungry for new challenges and is absolutely confident in his triumph.

Comparative analysis

The first thing that many are in a hurry to talk about in the context of this battle is anthropometry. Yes, Islam will be bigger in any case, even though Volkanovski promises to fight with a weight of 77-78 kg. In addition, our athlete is 10 cm taller, but the arm span is 2 cm larger for the applicant, who is noticeably faster and more dangerous in the standing position than the Russian. And we will start from those moments in which Alex looks more profitable than Makhachev: speed, footwork, kicks and boxing, endurance, lack of need for acclimatization, control of the distance and its gap. In addition, in defense from the back, this "kid" will be more interesting than many with whom Islam dealt with in extreme fights.

It is impossible to argue with the fact that the gulf in the fighting skills between them is greater than in the standing position - everything that will relate to close combat, of course, goes to Makhachev's piggy bank, and in shock moments he also has something to answer the Australian. That is why it is important for Veliky to rely on movements and low kicks in order to slow down the opponent and not give him a chance to get closer. Actually, due to his speed and lack of need to drive a lot of weight, Volkanovski has a good chance of preventing Islam from developing momentary offensive success.

For the same, in turn, it is more profitable to finish the meeting on the ground by the 3rd round, since Islam is unlikely to be able to breathe and rework Alex. Even in the fight with Oliveira, he slowed down after a viscous takedown by the third five-minute period. Delaying with Volkanovski is a dangerous undertaking. And yet, the power of our athlete, his richest technical arsenal on the ground floor and a high percentage of successful takedowns from a variety of positions should be a key advantage in this battle. The only important thing is that the Russian game plan does not stretch over a long distance, otherwise we may expect one of the largest upsets over the past few years.

Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski Prediction

For MMA, as a sport, Alexander's victory in such a high-profile fight would be a powerful tool for a revenge and a 180-degree turn in the balance of power in two divisions. Quotations notwithstanding, Volkanovski's skill set could, realistically, without trying to intrigue anyone, be a problem for Makhachev. However, the legendary wrestling school of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, and all that technical arsenal behind Islam's back, tell us that betting on an underdog in this case is too risky.

It is likely that Veliky's strengths and native walls will help him drag the fight into the 3rd segment, and in this case, choosing the Total over 2.5 position looks almost ideal. Otherwise, the favorite's victory, especially the early one, can be used as a backup plan. With the balance of power 70 to 30, I will give preference to Makhachev, but I have no doubt that Alex will be able to surprise us with his performance. Install the 1xbet app and place a bet on the favorite!

Prediction: Total over 2.5 by rounds/Early victory of Islam Makhachev

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