UFC light-weight champion Islam Makhachev and UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski have concluded their tremendous combat and now diverge on their very own championship journeys. In the aftermath of UFC 284 on Saturday evening, some routes are extra clear than others.
Makhachev efficiently defended his light-weight title towards Volkanovski in a combat that might be closely debated. The champions fought tooth and nail for 5 rounds with the result in query even after the scorecards had been learn. Ultimately, Volkanovski’s pursuit to grow to be a two-division champion stays incomplete and Makhachev will seemingly usurp Volkanovski’s place because the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter within the UFC rankings.
Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett fought for the interim UFC featherweight championship in Volkanovski’s absence. Rodriguez leaves Perth, Australia with a brand new accent round his waist. Volkanovski and Rodriguez are anticipated to unify the featherweight titles down the road. Makhachev, however, is brief on challengers which might be each out there and viable. So what could be finished for the light-weight champion?
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Let’s study a very powerful fights to make within the aftermath of UFC 284.
UFC light-weight championship — Islam Makhachev (c) vs. Beneil Dariush: There are rumors swirling that Charles Oliveira and Dariush will combat at UFC 288 in May, however the actuality is that nobody at light-weight presently deserves a title shot greater than Dariush. It’s not even shut. Oliveira (No. 1) is coming off a dominant loss to Makhachev and a win over Dariush (No. 4) will not do a lot to spur confidence in a rematch. Poirier (No. 2) is 1-1 in his final two and 3-1 in his final 4, however two of these fights are towards a presently unranked Conor McGregor. Justin Gaethje (No. 3) is coming off a loss and is presently set to combat Rafael Fiziev. Then there’s Michael Chandler (No. 5) who misplaced to Poirier in his final outing and is about to combat McGregor after their stint on “The Ultimate Fighter.” Dariush is on an eight-fight successful streak and has the submission abilities, wrestling and wild placing to make for a enjoyable combat towards Makhachev. If the UFC lacks confidence in how nicely Makhachev vs. Dariush will promote, they’ll e-book it as a co-main occasion. Just get it finished, please.
UFC featherweight championship — Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Yair Rodriguez (ic): No have to mull this one over. Rodriguez earned the proper to problem Volkanovski after defeating Emmett for the interim UFC featherweight championship in Saturday’s co-headliner. Rodriguez performed the position of the matador to Emmett’s bull, expertly shifting out of bother and touchdown painful counter pictures. Rodriguez actually absorbed some punishment on Saturday, however his dynamic placing and improved floor recreation present an general enchancment that ought to make for an thrilling title unification bout. Volkanovski’s failed bid for the light-weight title brings readability to the featherweight ranks. Volkanovski has vowed to return to the featherweight division to satisfy Rodriguez head-on. Order stays.
Josh Emmett vs. Ilia Topuria: It is again to the drafting board for Emmett. Candidly, Emmett proved to be aggressive and succesful towards Rodriguez even when the brand new interim champion typically obtained the higher of the exchanges. The second-round submission was Emmett’s first profession submission loss, however he can bounce again in brief order. Topuria is primed for a run up the featherweight division and Emmett could be one of many few fighters who can match his energy. The combat will both re-establish Emmett as a significant risk or launch Topuria into title competition. Other potential fights for Emmett embrace the loser of Max Holloway vs. Arnold Allen, or “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung — who’s one spot behind Emmett — when you have any religion in Jung’s chin at this stage.
Jack Della Maddalena vs. Neil Magny: Maddalena referred to as for a ranked opponent and it is time to give it to him. Della Maddalena has been an absolute pleasure to look at, defeating more and more troublesome opposition all within the first spherical. The solely welterweight ranked between No. 10 and No. 15 presently with out a combat is Magny. A combat between an up-and-coming star and welterweight’s final litmus check sounds appetizing. Magny, the winningest fighter in UFC welterweight historical past, is coming off a loss to Gilbert Burns that crushed his newest run towards title competition. Magny has usually been used as an elite gatekeeper and could be counted on to measure Della Maddalena.
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