We don’t often get a matchup that pits the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter against the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter. And yet, the UFC betting lines widely favor Islam Makhachev as he takes on Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284.
The lightweight championship is on the line but what’s really at stake are the bragging rights for the world’s best MMA fighter. And Makhachev should dominate.
Let’s check the latest UFC news, stats, and UFC lines for Makhachev vs Volkanovski. We’ve got plenty of UFC picks for you to consider.
Makhachev Ready to Become a Superstar
If he isn’t a superstar yet, Makhachev is set to become one should he make short work of Volkanovski. The Dagestani wrestler is more than just Khabib Nurmagomedov’s protege: he has a legitimate case to reach all-time great status. He has mauled every opponent in his path, including the former lightweight champion.
Makhachev has been wrestling since he was a boy and most of it has come against Nurmagomedov. “Steel sharpens steel” is the phrase and Makhachev is unequaled when it comes to that category. Thus, even when his opponent knows what’s coming, they have little power in stopping it.
Furthermore, Makhachev’s potent wrestling gives him extra liberties with his striking. Since his opponents expect the wrestling, they may leave themselves more open on the stand-up. Makhachev’s striking is underrated and he may just show something here against Volkanovski. Either way, his long online gambling lines are not by accident.
Can Volkanovski ‘Tank’ Makhachev?
Volkanovski enters this bout not only as the big underdog but as the smaller man. As the featherweight champion, Volkanovski is four inches shorter. He does, however, have a reach advantage by an inch and could maybe even weigh as much as Makhachev.
The Australian is a tank, as many call him. He used to play rugby and weighed over 200 pounds at one point. His stocky yet long-limbed build could present issues to any fighter. However, he has yet to fight a wrestler as dominant as Makhachev. If he can somehow keep Makhachev on his feet, it would be a success in its own way.
On the feet, Makhachev should have the advantage. This is the man that outboxed Max Holloway, the former champion, for most of the 15 rounds they fought. He averages a whopping 6.79 significant strikes landed per minute. Striking is his path to victory and he may get bets online for his advantage here.
Makhachev vs Volkanovski Head-to-Head
Makhachev is taller than Volkanovski and younger by three years. They have nearly identical professional records as well. Volkanovski strikes in orthodox while Makhachev strikes in southpaw.
Makhachev vs Volkanovski Fight Information
- Fighters: Makhachev (23-1-0) vs Volkanovski (25-1-0)
- Location: RAC Arena, Perth, Australia
- Day/Time: Saturday, Feb. 11th, 10:00 p.m. ET
- Makhachev vs Volkanovski Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
Makhachev vs Volkanovski Betting Lines
Makhachev vs Volkanovski Picks & Prediction
As the odds indicate, this one should not be too close. Volkanovski may be disrespected by how wide the lines are but he’ll have no answers for Makhachev’s wrestling. If he somehow wins, it could be one of the biggest upsets. But Makhachev could make this look easy by outstriking Volkanovski, who may be preparing for his wrestling too much. Makhachev to win inside the distance is at -110 and could be the best UFC bet here.
Makhachev is listed at -400 in our Vegas UFC lines. This means that if you wager $100 on Makhachev, you have a chance to win $25. Volkanovski is +300, offering a chance to win $300 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Makhachev an 80.00% chance to win, with Volkanovski at 25.00%.