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The Best Matchups to Follow at UFC 284

The countdown is gradually beginning as fight fans, not to mention the fighters and their training camps themselves, look towards UFC 284, which will take place at the RAC Arena, in Perth, Australia. The action gets under way at 22:00 on February 11, 2023, Canadian time and will feature, as always, some major clashes. That includes two titles being placed on the line.

As if the action won’t be exciting enough, you might be considering checking the sport betting and placing a bet on one of the match ups. Of note is the lightweight clash between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski, and the featherweight title bout between Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmet.

Makhachev vs Volkanovski

It’s the fight that no one thought they’d ever get to see, but no one is complaining that it’s going ahead either. For Volkanovski, it’s not just a title shot, but also a chance to go down as one of the all-time greats of the UFC, and he’ll do so in front of his fellow Australians. It would also make him a two-division champion, a club that only a few people have joined, including, of course, “The Notorious” Conor McGregor. This mixed martial artist holds a record of 25-1-0 and receives around +260 on the betting lines.

Rodriguez is the favorite, receiving around -320 on the betting lines, and has also shown his mettle. The defending lightweight champ holds a record of 23-1-0, so loss is likewise only a vaguely familiar concept to him as well. Makhachev is a protégé of Khabib Nurmagomedov, which means his grappling game is ferocious. He can control fighters on the ground as if it was child’s play and deliver some nasty blows. Volkanovski has his work cut out, but after his brutal encounter with Brian Ortega at UFC 266, fans know just how much of a warrior “Alexander the Great” is on the ground.

Yair Rodriguez vs Josh Emmet

In the featherweight division, in an interim title bout, Mexican Yair Rodriguez and American boy Josh Emmet will be going at it. Rodriguez holds a record of 15-3-0, whereas Emmet has a few more fights under his belt and doesn’t share points either with a record that stands at 18-2-0.

“El Pantera” has beaten some tough opponents in the cage, including Brian Ortega, Jeremy Stephens, B.J. Penn and Dan Hooker, so he’ll be looking forward to taking on Emmet. Rodriguez has a significant height advantage of 5’11” vs 5’6”, but only gains an inch on his opponent in terms of reach (71” vs 70”). His striking is very unpredictable, though, so he’s still going to prove a real handful for Emmet.

Emmet won’t mind such unpredictable striking. He has a solid chin and likes to keep the fight on his feet. If Rodriguez does take the fight to the ground, he’ll have to be careful because Emmet’s ground game and submission games are both caste-iron.

Lomma Lookboonmee vs Elise Reed

Naturally, it’s not just the men locking horns in the cage. In the ladies strawweight division, Loma Lookboonmee, from Thailand, and Elise Reed, from the States, will be doing battle. The Thai fighter’s record stands at 7-3-0, whereas the American’s record consists of 8-2-0.

In terms of the tale of the tape, things don’t look too fantastic for Lookboonmee. She surrenders two inches in height to her opponent (5’1” vs 5’”3), just under 7 lbs in weight (115.5 vs 122 lbs), 1.5 inches in reach (61.5” vs 63”) and two in leg reach (34” vs 36”). That won’t faze her too much. Her Muay Thai fighting has rewarded her with plenty of experience and her knowledge of this vicious fighting style means she can dish out some brutal punishment.

Unfortunately for Lookboonme though, Reed has lots of MMA experience and will be equally comfortable with her legs. She boasts a taekwondo base and, given her natural height and reach advantages, combined with her taekwondo skills, the American could make it hard for her opponent to close the distance.

By transitioning from traditional martial arts to MMA, Reed has also proven her adaptability, whereas some observers have fears about the Thai fighter’s ability to defend herself on the ground or against takedowns. If, however, Lookboonme can stay on her feet and pick up the pace around the cage, she may steal an edge over the American. Despite winning her UFC 279 battle with Melissa Martinez by unanimous decision, Reed struggled with her opponent’s pace at closing the distance between them.

UFC 284 isn’t far away, and there are some outstanding matchups on the card. The main event will be especially exciting. Other interesting fights to watch out for on the card include Justin Taka vs Parker Porter, in the heavyweight division; Joel Álvarez vs Zubaira Tukhugov; and Josh Culibao vs Melsik Baghdasaryan in the featherweight division.

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