Islam Makhachev won the battle of champions Saturday night, defeating Alexander Volkanovski by unanimous decision at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia, to retain his light heavyweight title.
Makhachev (24-1) took the cards 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 in his first title defense.
Volkanovski, who holds the UFC featherweight belt, was attempting to become just the fifth fighter in UFC history to hold two titles simultaneously.
Makhachev stakes his claim to best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
“I show I am No. 1,” Makhachev said to boos from the crowd. “They have to improve more. They have good striking, good grappling skills, this is his area. But you like or you don’t like, I am best fighter in the world right now.”
Volkanovski fell to 25-2.
“I’m a better fighter because of this. You challenge yourself like this, it only makes you stronger,” Volkanovski said of his jump in weight class to take on Makhachev.
Makhachev was the heavy favorite coming in.
“I can get the job done but I pulled up short tonight,” he went on. “Congrats to Islam, great fighter. Maybe we’ll settle pound-for-pound No. 1 again.”
Makhachev has won 12 straight fights and has not lost since his second UFC fight in 2015.
–Field Level Media