The UFC heads to Perth, Australia this weekend for UFC 284, where local hero Alexander Volkanovski looks to become a double champ, moving up to Lightweight to face Islam Makhachev who attempts to defend his belt for the first time. In the co-main, Yair Rodriguez meets Josh Emmett as they compete for an interim strap and the next chance to fight Volkanovski and Australians Jack Della Madddalena, Justin Tafa and Jack Jenkins all look to get their hands raised on home soil. We take a look at ourbest bets on the card below.
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UFC 284 Preview & Betting Picks
Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski
Whether it is the lack of promotion by the UFC or just the lack of either man being universally loved or hated, this fight is not getting the attention it deserves. Islam Makhachev’s route to victory here is simple, get Alexander Volkanovski down, hold him there and submit him. Yet that is going to be much easier said than done as while the Australian has been taken down in the UFC before he has always been near impossible to hold down.
On the feet the Russian doesn’t get the respect he deserves but still Volkanovski is well clear, with his slick footwork, range of shots and brutal leg kicks. While a lot is made of the size discrepancy, I actually think the speed factor will be more telling. I believe as the fight goes in Volkanovski will be harder and harder for Makchachev to get to and while I believe the Russian should be the favourite, the odds about Volkanovski are ludicrous. Back the Aussie to become a double champ at what is some serious value.
Shane Young vs. Blake Bilder
Blake Bilder may be undefeated as an amateur and pro but by the end of this weekend he won’t be any longer. Shane Young has every tool to dismantle Bilder. He is durable, has crisp boxing and presses forward. Young also has the luxury of fighting a man who will willingly try to walk him down and trade in the pocket. This should be an entertaining war but Bilder doesn’t have the gas tank or the power to get Young out of there. Young puts him out of there before the judges’ scorecards are needed.
Multi: Loma Lookboonme + Zubaira Tukhugov
I have such a soft spot for Loma Lookboonme as she is so similar to Carla Esparza in the fact that you just know what you are going to get. Lookboonmee absolutely ragdolled Sam Hughes who destroyed Lookboonme’s opponent here Elise Reed, on the mat. While MMA math doesn’t always add up it simply just should here. Loma dominates in the clinch and in the wrestling department to secure a one-sided victory.
Zubaira Tukhugov I am adding in for some value as he is as much of a lock as you will ever see in MMA. His opponent Elves Brenner steps in on short notice and is so outclassed here it is just plain cruel. I don’t see this fight lasting to the end of the first and expect Tukhugov puts him away with nasty strikes within minutes.