Best UFC 284 Bets: Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski Picks

Best UFC 284 Bets: Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski Picks

One of the most anticipated fights in all of UFC is going down at the next pay-per-view— Makhachev vs. Volkanovski. The championship clash goes down on February 12 in the “Land Down Under” Australia, which is the hometown of Volkanovski. We’re breaking down the super fight in this article (plus others on the cars) and offering our own UFC 284 betting picks on the top fights.

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Islam Makhachev Betting Pick(s)

To hardcore fight fans, this is a mega-fight in every sense of the word. It pits the top two pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC rankings against one another. But despite Volkanovski being number one in said rankings, he’s a sizable underdog in this bout vs. Makhachev, at least according top-used UFC’s top betting sites. Here are the moneyline odds in the UFC 284 main event:

Islam Makhachev-350-350-350
Alexander Volkanovski+250+250+250

Being an underdog is unfamiliar territory for Volkanowski. He’s been the UFC featherweight champion since the end of 2019 and has tasted defeat zero times in 12 UFC fights (and only once in his career). But here’s the thing (and partly why oddsmakers are so against “The Great”), this fight is at lightweight, Makhachev's regular division. Sure, Volkanovski spent his early career there but hasn’t competed in the weight class since his UFC debut in 2016.

Makhachev has the benefit of not having to bulk up for this fight. It’s business as usual for him in his first title defense since annihilating Charles Oliviera. Like Volkanovski, losing is not something Makhachev is accustomed to. He’s also only been beaten once before, and that was way back in 2015. All these factors are why this is a UFC dream match of sorts despite the lopsided odds.

As for the fight itself, the thing that becomes most obvious is the size difference. It’s not just that Volkanovski is adding weight and not fighting at his regular weight. It’s also that Volkanovski is just a short guy. Period. He’s small at featherweight, little less at lightweight. The featherweight champion is a meager 5-foot-6, whereas Makhachev is four inches taller. Look up the fight announcement press conference if you need a visual representation of the size disparity ahead at UFC 284.

Plus, you have to consider Makhachev’s fight style. He’s arguably the best wrestler in all of the UFC right now. Having an added size advantage only makes Makhachev even more lethal on the ground. While Volkanovski isn’t a bad wrestler himself, he’s certainly not world-class at it. It probably takes that to solve the famed Dagestani wrestling puzzle that has yet to be cracked in this sport.

To us, Volkanovski is simply “biting off more than he can chew” with this one. It’s admirable he’s stepping up the challenge of being a double champion, but Makhachev is just an awful matchup. We expect the title-holder to retain and do so by decision. So not only would we take the Makhachev moneyline, but the over too. Heck, maybe parlay the two of you really want to maximize the possible payout.

Islam Makhachev to beat Alexander Volkanovski

Yair Rodriguez vs. Josh Emmett Betting Pick

With Volkanovski focused elsewhere, UFC has set up an interim featherweight class, which will serve as the semi-main event of UFC 284. Based on the odds alone, the Emmett vs. Rodriguez fight is much closer than the main event featuring the division’s actual title-holder. Here’s where the betting lines stand:

Yair Rodriguez-160-160-160
Josh Emmett+130+130+130

Both these fighters possess one-stike KO ability, which should make this a banger of a matchup. But for us, it’s “too little, too late” for Emmett. Yes, he’s won five in a row but he’s turning 38 years old in March. His best days are behind him so we see Rodriguez coming out victorious here. We predict a stand-up fight that ends with Rodriguez dropping Emmett.

Yair Rodriguez to beat Josh Emmett

Jack Della Maddalena vs. Randy Brown Betting Pick

Like Volkanovski, Della Maddalena will also benefit from the partisan “home” crowd as he hails from Australia. That might be one of the reasons why Della Maddalena is so heavily favored over Brown by the bookies, as seen in the odds underneath:

Jack Della Maddalena-310-310-310
Randy Brown+220+220+220

Della Maddalena is not only 3-0 since bursting into the UFC, but his winning streak includes all first-round knockouts. Brown, however, is no chump. Since early 2019, Brown is 6-1 with his only loss coming against Vicente Luque. Expect another slugfest in this matchup given the two’s stand-up abilities.

We’re actually picking Brown to get the upset victory. Look, Della Maddalena is aggressive, but that might be his fault here. Brown has a reach advantage that could make the home-crowd favorite pay. It’s a really even fight, but getting Brown at these longshot odds swings it for us in his direction.

Randy Brown to beat Jack Della Maddalena

How To Bet On UFC 284

Of course, there are plenty more fights on the card aside from the three we covered above. If you want to bet on UFC 284 in its entirety, hit one of the online sportsbooks listed underneath. MMA keeps growing in betting popularity, and these sites have grown with it. As hinted in our latest sportsbook reviews, the betting menu for MMA is deep at any one of these bookmakers.

Plus, if you cash in a sign-up bonus, your UFC 284 betting picks could be completely free. Those bonuses are available across the featured sites and are exclusive for first-time bettors. Bonuses can range from $500 to $2500 so it’s no chump change. See the table below to see what offer is available where.