UFC 284 Set to Settle Pound-for-Pound Debate

UFC 284 has a unique main event. Alexander Volkanovski,  who is the promotion’s featherweight champion, is the top-ranked pound-for-pound fighter on the UFC’s website. Despite being held in a high regard by the UFC, Volkanovski enters this week’s pay-per-view as a sizable underdog to lightweight champion Islam Makhachev despite the fight being in Volkanovski’s home country of Australia.

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This fight is one that that will put Volkanovski in an elite class in UFC history if he can win the lightweight championship. In the promotion’s 30-year history only four athletes — Amanda Nunes, Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier and Henry Cejudo — have ever held multiple championships in two weight divisions concurrently.

But while Volkanovski and Makhachev’s fight will close the show, there is more worth betting on than just the main event. Here’s a look at some UFC fights worth betting on at UFC 284.

Tafa, Porter will be sloppy heavyweight battle

Parker Porter isn’t a heavyweight that will wow anyone who watches him. In five UFC appearances, Porter has yet to win by finish and has grinded out his three victories by decision. Porter has yet to show that he is capable of finishing fighters at the highest level.

Tafa has also been unimpressive during his short stint in the UFC. While Tafa won his last fight with a first-round knockout of Henry Huniscker, it doesn’t say much for Tafa’s resume. Hunsicker was a fringe pro fighter who didn’t last long in the UFC.

What this matchup will come down is cardio for Tafa. Porter is capable of going 15 minutes and grinding out decisions, while Tafa has been more known for his stopping power. Tafa will also have the pressure of fighting in his home country. In this situation, it’s worth taking a stab at this fight to go the distance. Neither have been profilic finishers in the UFC.

Bet: Over 1.5 rounds (-175), Fight to go the distance (+138)

Crute ready to return from layoff

Jimmy Crute has been an excellent fighter in the light heavyweight division. However, the past few years have been tough ones for the Australian prospect. In 2021, Crute took two tough losses.

Crute lost a fight to Anthony Smith where a leg kick caused an injury where he couldn’t continue. Later that year, Crute was knocked out by Jamahal Hill, who recently won the light heavyweight crown. Crute is a solid all-around fighter. Crute has seen the last seven of his fights end inside the distance.

Crute lands 4.33 significant strikers per minute. He is also a solid wrestler when he chooses to engage with a takedown accuracy of 75 percent. Alonzo Menifield has shown throughout his career that he is an excellent finish.

Menifield has finished 12 of his 13 career fights. However, this will be a tough matchup for the 35-year-old Menifield.

Bet: Jimmy Crute (-177), Over 1.5 (+108)

Islam ready to prove he’s like Khabib

Volkanovski has won 22 consecutive fights and is ready to step up a weight class after making four consecutive defenses of his featherweight crown. One thing that Volkanovski has proven is that he has the gas is the thank to make life difficult for opponents. During Volkanovski’s career, he has won 10 fights by decision.

Makhachev, who is 23-1 in his career, has won 11 of his past 12 fights. During Makhachev’s last fight, he submitted Charles Oliveira to become the champion. Makhachev is one of the best wrestlers in the UFC and has the tools to put the pressure on Volkanovski.

Volkanovski is the better striker, but will have to work hard to handle Makhachev’s grappling. Over Volkanovski’s career, he has compiled a 73 percent takedown defense, but has been caught in tough grappling exchanges before. Volkanovski can’t afford to make those mistakes against Makhachev.

This will be a good fight, but Makhachev looks like he will have an opportunity to cement his legacy with a matchup that could produce a win that will enhance his legacy.

Bet: Over 2.5 (-155), Makhachev by submission (+150)