Going into the main event of UFC 284, Islam Makhachev was primarily interested in Alexander Volkanovski’s No. 1 ranking pound-for-pound position. The UFC lightweight even risked losing his belt, which he went on to successfully defend against Volkanovski by unanimous decision.
Despite defeating “The Great,” Makhachev is still ranked No. 2 in the most recent UFC pound-for-pound rankings, which were released yesterday. The Dagestani adds that he never anticipated justice to be done in the first place, adding weight to the rankings snub.
Magomed Ankalaev and Petr Yan, two Russian sportsmen who have recently faced contentious verdicts, were mentioned by Makhachev as examples of discrimination against Russian athletes. Recently, the lightweight UFC champion stated to Russian media:
“I appreciate the congratulations. No matter how long you fly, the trip home is always enjoyable. I never anticipated fairness in the rankings and I still don’t. Because [Magomed] Ankalaev, Petr Yan, and our other warriors set a good example for us, we observed their constant attitude towards us. The significant point is that I travelled 13000 kilometres by air. They lifted my hand after their champion was defeated there. And with a lifted head and a belt, flew home with assurance.”
To his credit, Alexander Volkanovski gave Islam Makhachev the most difficult test of his professional life. Following the main event of UFC 284, “The Great” said that he is still the best pound-for-pound fighter and demanded a rematch right away to back up his claim.