ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI will bid to join an elite group of UFC fighters when he throws down with Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 in Australia TONIGHT.
The reigning featherweight champ and pound-for-pound king will move up in weight to challenge the Russian phenom for the lightweight title.
Victory over the Dagestani destroyer – the protege of MMA legend Khabib Nurmagomedov – will see the Aussie become only the fifth fighter in UFC history to hold two titles simultaneously.
‘The Great’ will face an almighty task to dethrone Makhachev, who claimed the 155lb title with an emphatic submission win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 last October.
When is UFC 284 – Makhachev vs Volkanovski?
The UFC’s second pay-per-view card of 2023 takes place on February 11 (12 in Oz).
UFC 284 will take place at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.
A full house is expected, meaning just over 15,000 will be in attendance for the mouthwatering champion vs champion bout.
What channel is it on and can it be live-streamed?
UFC 284 – Makhachev vs Volkanovski will be shown live on BT Sport 1 in the UK.
Live coverage of the event will begin at 11pm with the preliminary card, with the main card set to kick off at 3am.
The prelims will get underway at 6pm Eastern Time and 3pm Pacific Time in the United States.
The main card will start at 10pm ET and 7pm PT in the States.
UK fans can live stream all the prelims on their tablet or mobile device through UFC Fight Pass the BT Sport app.
Fight fans in the USA will be able to stream the card via the ESPN+.
The main event cage walks are expected to take place around 5am UK time on Sunday, February 12 (12am ET and 11pm PT).
UFC 284 full card
- Islam Makhachev (c) vs Alexander Volkanovski (c) – for the lightweight title
- Yair Rodriguez vs Josh Emmett – for the interim featherweight title
- Jack Della Maddalena vs Randy Brown
- Justin Tafa vs Parker Porter
- Jimmy Crute vs Alonzo Menifield
- Zubaira Tukhugov vs Elves Brenner
- Joshua Culibao vs Melsik Baghdasaryan
- Shannon Ross vs Kleydson Rodrigues
- Jamie Mullarkey vs Francisco Prado
- Jack Jenkins vs Don Shainis
- Loma Lookboonmee vs Elise Reed
- Shane Young vs Blake Bilder
- Tyson Pedro vs Modestas Bukauskas
What has been said?
Makhachev told FOX Sports: “This fight is so important because I want to be [the] number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
“Every fighter wants to be [the] pound-for-pound champion, not just the champion (of their weight division).
“I am the champion [at 155lbs] right now but I have a new goal, a new target, I want to be pound-for-pound king because this is the dream for all fighters.”
Volkanovski told FOX Sports: “The fact that I’m moving up [weight classes] is always gonna [create doubts from people].
“Especially with me being reasonably short, and then people are looking at it stylistically thinking not only is he moving up where people have the size advantage but now he’s versing the best grappler/wrestler in that division.
“Strength has never been an issue for me. I’ve always been undersized with everything I ever did.
“It’s gonna be a hard challenge but I guarantee that I can do it.”
Volk told the BBC: “I’ve always been undersized and always had people trying to push that narrative, but the amount of times I’ve embarrassed them.
“I love when people put me as the underdog and think I’m undersized. You want to say that stuff? Cool. Just remember when I win, give me my flowers, you should reward me well when I get that job done.
“I obviously [fight] for my family, my team and all that sort of stuff which is so much bigger, but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t motivate me.”
UFC president Dana White: “I don’t think it’s ever happened. The number one and number two pound-for-pound… It’s a monster fight.
“Just the gate alone out of there is gonna be an MSG-type gate. The pre-buys for pay-per-view… it’s beating all the fights of its type.
“It’s probably gonna break the record for pay-per-view in Australia and New Zealand.
“The UFC, our record, which was Conor and somebody. But it’s looking like it’s gonna break that record. It’s a monster fight.”