The UFC headed down under to Perth, Western Australia for UFC 284 which saw the lightweight title and the interim featherweight title up for grabs.
In the main event of UFC 284, Islam Makhachev was looking to defend his lightweight title for the first time against featherweight champ, Alexander Volkanovski. The co-main event saw Yair Rodriguez battle Josh Emmett for the interim featherweight title.
In the end, it was Makhachev who won a close decision to defend his belt for the first time. Rodriguez, meanwhile, scored a second-round submission to become the interim featherweight champion. Now, after UFC 284 here is what I think should be next for all four fighters involved in the title fights.
Islam Makhachev officially defended his lightweight title at UFC 284 but it was a closer fight than many thought. Makhachev did have success on the feet as he rocked Volkanovski a few times and also used his wrestling to control the rounds and edge out a decision.
With Makhachev getting the win, it’s likely he will be on the sidelines for a few months with Ramadan starting March 22 and ending April 20. When he returns, Makhachev has two potential options, the likelier option is to fight Beneil Darisuh if he beats Charles Oliveira in May but if Oliveira wins, the next option is to face the winner of Rafael Fiziev and Justin Gaethje at UFC 286.
Alexander Volkanovski & Yair Rodriguez
With Alexander Volkanovski losing to Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title, he will return to featherweight and face interim champ, Yair Rodriguez.
Volkanovski said after the loss at UFC 284 that he wanted to make a quick turnaround and Rodriguez didn’t take much damage meaning this fight could happen. I expect this to either headline a pay-per-view or be a co-main at the end of the second quarter or early third quarter.
Josh Emmett had some moments in his fight at UFC 284 as his power was evident as he landed a big shot against Yair Rodriguez. Yet, Rodriguez was able to land body shots that hurt Emmett and eventually caught him in a choke.
With the loss, Emmett had his five-fight winning streak snapped and given he turns 38 years old next month, his future is uncertain. However, if he decides to remain at 145lbs, the logical next fight is to face the loser of Max Holloway vs. Arnold Allen sometime in late summer.
What do you think should be next for the stars of UFC 284?