Ranked No.2 on the UFC’s pound-for-pound list, it was only natural to expect that lightweight champion Islam Makhachev would take the top spot from Alexander Volkanovski after defeating him at UFC 284 on Saturday night, but that’s not been the case.
Instead the updated rankings for this week show that Volkanovski still holds the top spot with the now 12-fight unbeaten Makhachev remaining at No.2.
“I never expected justice and still don’t,” Makhachev stated in his Instagram Stories in response to the snub. “Because we have always seen the attitude towards us in the example of our other fighters, (Magomed) Ankalaev, Petr Yan.
“The main thing is I flew 13,000 kilometers, defeated their champion there. Referee raised my hand up. With my head up, confident, with a belt, I came home.”
Makhachev won the fight on the scorecards and the vast majority of media outlets own cards on the night agreed with that verdict, but that doesn’t mean it was a convincing victory and there’s no doubt that Volkanovski gave him his toughest fight to date and indeed was in the ascendency in the closing round.
With Volkanovski also having far more title defenses (4) back down at featherweight than Makhachev’s brief reign at the helm of the lightweight division (1), that appears to have swayed the opinion of the media members whose votes establish the official p4p rankings to keep him in the No.1 spot for now.
As the dust begins to settle on the fight Volkanovski has been calling for an immediate rematch that could settle once and for all who the sport’s true No.1 pound-for-pound fighter is, although having said that, if Jon Jones beats Ciryl Gane in his interim heavyweight title comeback at UFC 285 then that could spark a whole new debate.