The deal is sealed. UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (25-1, 12-0 UFC) will move up to lightweight to challenge for the 155-pound belt vs Islam Makhachev (23-1, 12-1 UFC) on February 12.
The five-round superfight will serve as the main event at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia, marking the promotion’s first trip Down Under since 2019.
The early odds have Islam as the heavy -400 favorite in the Makhachev vs Volkanovski odds.
Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski Betting Odds
Odds as of February 10
Our odds calculator suggests Makhachev’s -400 status equates to an implied win probability of 80 percent, meaning a $10 bet on him pays out $12.50. Volkanovski’s +300 underdog status gives him an implied win probability of 25 percent, and a $10 bet on him pays out $40.
For more information on how to interpret these numbers, including the Makhachev vs Volkanovski odds, head over to our How to Bet on UFC page. Also, feel free to visit our main UFC betting news page for all the latest happenings from inside the Octagon.
Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski Betting Odds Analysis
Makhachev’s dominant climb to UFC stardom is painted in his odds history. At UFC 280, Islam’s first title shot and subsequent championship win, he was the -190 favorite. Those were the shortest odds he has faced since he was a -130 favorite vs Chris Wade at UFC Fight Night 94, Makhachev’s third fight in the UFC. It’s been heavy chalk upon heavy chalk in the Russian’s career. His status vs Volkanovski is no different.
If these odds hold, the featherweight champ will be in a unique position. Volkanovski hasn’t been an underdog since his first bout with Max Holloway at UFC 245, where the Aussie carried +145 odds. Since then, it’s been sheer dominance and a whole lot of chalk for the UFC’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.
Makhachev vs Volkanovski Preview: A Clash Of Two Different Wrestlers
Makhachev and Volkanovski are two of the best wrestlers in the UFC for different reasons. As we know well, Islam is like Khabib Nurmagomedov, a relentless, smothering top-mount presence with a terrifying arsenal of submissions. Volkanovski, on the other hand, is explosive, often using clinch situations to throw knees and trip his way into top position. From there, the featherweight champ dishes out damage, which is why his 3.12 significant strike differential leads the division.
So, how do those two styles match up? Well, in his 12-fight UFC career, “Alexander The Great” has spent just two minutes and seven seconds in bottom position. Since Volk’s 77.78 percent takedown defense is good but not elite, you can guarantee Islam lands at least one takedown and puts Alex on his back. From there, the fight will be decided. If Volkanovski can bounce to his feet – which he’s pretty good at thanks to his short, strong legs – then he’ll get a chance to use his striking. If he can’t stand, it’ll be a long night.
Islam’s Submissions Come With Elite Strength
Everything about Makhachev’s ground game is elite. The 31-year-old’s cardio, takedown efficiency and six submission wins demonstrate his proficiency as a wrestler. In this fight vs Volkanovski, there will be ample opportunity for Islam to attack the featherweight champ from the top position.
Volkanovski has shown a good chin. He’s been knocked down just once in his UFC career (vs Chad Mendes at UFC 232) and has been able to withstand the limited ground-and-pound damage he’s been subjected to. But submission defense, especially against Makhachev’s submission attempts, is a greater challenge.
The 34-year-old miraculously survived a nasty guillotine choke and then a triangle attempt from Brian Ortega at UFC 266, but “T-City” isn’t the same fighter that Makhachev is. Ortega is a jiu-jitsu specialist who uses his long limbs to sink in chokes. The Russian’s brutal choke attempts will bring a whole new world of pain for Volkanovski.
Makhachev vs Volkanovski Betting Pick
Listen, it’s no easy task to move up a weight class and try to become double champ. Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes and Daniel Cormier, among others, have pulled off the elusive feat, but none of them were challenging a savage like Makhachev.
I expect this to be a riveting, tightly contested fight. It should involve a ton of wrestling and several nasty exchanges in tight via the clinch or through ground and pound. When I look at the early odds, though, I think Makhachev is way too chalked. Volkanovski is the current pound-for-pound champ, and until I see him lose, I won’t recommend betting against him.
I’m taking Volkanovski to win at +300 and the rounds total to go OVER 2.5 (-135).