Islam Makhachev emerged on top in a hard-fought victory against Alexander Volkanovski in what marked his first title defense for the UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia. The Dagestani fighter was met with boos after the judges’ scorecards were read and his hand was raised following five gruelling rounds with the featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski.
It was a tough fight for Islam Makhachev, who was expected by many to dominate Alexander Volkanovski on the ground. However, as it turned out, Volkanovski did not just do incredibly well on the feet, but was spot on with his takedown defense and even dominated Makhachev on the ground in the fifth and final round.
While there were moments on the feet where Makhachev landed some clean shots on Volkanovski, the featherweight champion did not look like he was in trouble during the exchanges on the ground. It must be noted, except the fourth round, Makhachev did not really control Volkanovski on the ground. However, that’s where the problem lies for the former UFC title challenger, Chael Sonnen.
Chael Sonnen slams judges’ scorecards for Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski
Chael Sonnen did not once words as he slammed Islam Makhachev for not utilising the position for an aggressive approach but rather use it to win the round. Moreoever, he also pointed out how Volkanovski was possibly the more busier fighter as he landed several shots on Makhachev from his back, despite being the position.
“Two minutes of the fourth round, might have been the third as I am saying the story, Islam is on the back of Volkanovski. Now Islam’s got a pretty good position, he has got his hooks in.” Chael Sonnen said. “Looks like a pretty good start to a position, but either way, that’s it. His hands were busy, one of them on the wrist, one of them trying to come around the neck. And his face was getting peppered by Volk.” He further continued.
While ground control definitely favors Islam Makhchev, a case can be made that he did very little to secure any kind of damage on Volkanovski. The question arises, how do the judges score a contest where very little is done on the ground in terms of significant strikes? Does three minute of ground control time trumps two minute of dominance on the feet? Do let us know in the comments section?