Islam Makhachev defeats Alexander Volkanovski to retain lightweight championship
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Islam Makhachev has defeated Alexander Volkanovski in one of the all-time fights in UFC history.
It was a fight that lived up to all expectations but ultimately the judges scored in favour of the Russian.
Alexander Volkanovski walked out to one of the best reactions in recent memory, as he sang the words to‘Down Under’ along with the thousands at RAC Arena.
It wasn’t anywhere near a warm reception for his opponent as the Perth crowd made sure Islam Makhachev knew who they were rooted for.
Bruce Buffer introduced the fighters as nobody else can - truly a big fight feel for one of the biggest UFC main events of all time.
Both fighters came out swinging in the first round, each caught their opponent flush at one time in the round.
The Russian managed to take Volkanovski’s back midway through the round as the Australian had to maintain his defence for the rest of the round.
The Aussie smiled and waved his finger as the round came to the end - all whilst still in the clutches of the Russian.
The two fighters showed there grit in the second round as both landed combinations as they tried to break down their opponent.
Volkanvoski showed his grappling defence was top-tier against one of the best takedown artists in the game.
The pair jostled for position throughout the third as the Perth crowd exploded and reacted as the two fighters collided late in the round.
Islam Makhachev proved why he’s one of the best grapplers in the game as he took the featherweight champion down and held his back for more than three minutes.
However, Volkanovski seemed largely in control and unfazed by the fact that Islam had him grappled up.
And it all came down to the championship round.
Volk continued to defend the takedown attempts from the Russian to the delight of the Perth crowd.
The Australian dropped Makhachev late into the fifth to set up exciting conclusions to one of the most even main events in recent memory.
And it all came down to the judges’ decision.
Ultimately the judges scored the fight in favour of Makhachev and the Perth crowd weren’t happy.
But a brilliant effort from both fighters to a main event worthy of the admission.
The lightweight champion takes over the featherweight champion as the pound-for-pound number one.