UFC 284: Makhachev vs. Volkanovski Picks, Predictions, Odds

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UFC 284 is almost here and despite there not being too much hype around this event, we have been given some very solid betting opportunities. The main event will feature Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski going at it for the UFC Lightweight title, whilst the co-main event will be an interim title fight in the Featherweight division between Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett

I’ve taken a look at all 13 of the fights this Saturday from top to bottom and I’ve prepared my Best Bets for UFC 284 card.

Let's get it on!

UFC 284 Best Bets

  • Islam Makhachev by KO/TKO/DQ or Submission (-139)
  • Josh Emmett Moneyline (+160)
  • Parker Porter Moneyline +110
  • Alonzo Menifield Moneyline (+163)
  • Menifield by KO/TKO/DQ (+250)
  • Melsik Baghdasaryan Moneyline (-105) 
Odds per FanDuel - Subject to Change

UFC 284 Picks & Predictions

Updated on 05/30/2024
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The UFC 284 main card will take place from RAC Arena in Perth, Australia and is expected to start at 10:00 p.m. ET.

UFC 284 Volkanovski vs. Makhachev Picks

  • Lightweight Championship 
  • Islam Makhachev -400 vs. Alexander Volkanovski +310

The Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is on a 22-fight winning streak, 12 of which have come in the UFC. He first won the division title in late 2019 against Max Halloway and has defended it 4 times since. Now, he’s making a move up to Lightweight, hoping to become the double champ by defeating Islam Makhachev.

For Makhachev, it hasn’t been the perfect road to the Lightweight title, having missed the entirety of 2020, but he came back in 2021 and cruised through the division with submission victories over Drew Dober, Thiago Moises and Dan Hooker. In 2022, Islam faced and beat Bobby Green via ground-and-pound and went on to face the champion, Charles Oliveira. It took less than 2 rounds for Makhachev to impose his will on the mat, and he won the championship via submission. 

The bookies have said their piece and they see Islam as the clear favorite at -400, whilst Volk is available at +470. For once, I agree. I’ve been backing Volk for a long time, but I don’t see him as a value bet, even at these odds. His striking is vastly better than Islam’s and his grappling has been great so far, but I just don’t see a way in which he can win here. Islam Makhachev is an elite grappler who can adjust to any grappling style and he isn’t going to be shooting for long double-leg takedowns. 

He loves to get opponents in the clinch and uses trips and judo throws to get them to the mat without too much effort. Whilst we can agree that Volk is not an easy man to submit, I just see the size difference as too much to overlook. Islam struggles to cut down to this weight and Volk is already shorter than a lot of featherweights. What’s more, Islam isn’t just a pure grappler. He uses his striking well and his kicks can be dangerous, especially the head kick. 

Volk is going to have to close the distance to get his shots off. Makhachev will be happy to throw from distance, attempting leg and head kicks from time to time. Eventually, they are going to get into the clinch and this is where the fight will begin to go heavily in Islam’s favor. I do expect him to eventually get the finish, and I’m backing him to get it done before the final bell. 

Best Bet: Islam Makhachev by KO/TKO/DQ or Submission (-139)

UFC 284 Rodriguez vs. Emmett Picks

  • Featherweight Bout
  • Yair Rodriguez -190 vs. Josh Emmett +160

In the co-main event, we will see Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett for the interim Featherweight title. Rodriguez is the second-ranked fighter in the division, whilst Emmett is 5th and both are in excellent form. 

Yair Rodriguez is one of the most exciting fighters in the division. He is exceptional at using his footwork, and body movement to lull opponents into a false sense of security before exploding. One of his most useful weapons in this fight will most definitely be his kicking. More than a third of his strikes are kicks, and he uses a wide array to keep opponents guessing. He also absorbs a solid number of strikes with 4.11 per minute but his chin has held up nicely so far. Grappling isn’t really his cup of tea, and he avoids going to the ground if he can. 

For Josh Emmett, a 5-fight winning streak over the course of 3 years has landed him in the top 5 of the division, but his recent performance has left a lot to be desired. A split-decision win against the tentative Kalvin Kattar with most of his strikes being punches. He’s still a dangerous opponent with a lot of power in his hands, but boxing won't be able to get him the job done against such a creative opponent. That said, there is a strong chance that Emmet decides to mix in his grappling here, and against an opponent like Rodriguez this can be crucial. Max Halloway was able to get Rodriguez to the ground 3 times and I expect Emmett to be able to do the same. The odds next to his name are very enticing and I see some solid value in backing Emmett here.  

Best Bet: Josh Emmett Moneyline (+160)

UFC 284 Tafa vs. Porter Picks

  • Heavyweight Bout
  • Justin Tafa -120 vs. Parker Porter +100

We’re skipping the Randy Brown vs Jack Della Maddalena fight as there’s no real betting value to be found and going straight into the Heavyweights. We have Justin Tafa Taking on Parker Porter.

Justin Taifa is definitely a throwback type of fighter in the division and I don’t mean that in a good way. I imagine he would be a great heavyweight a few decades ago, but being so one-dimensional is a huge disadvantage at this point. Taifa is a very skilled boxer, dishing out 5.02 strikes per minute and earning all 5 of his career wins via KO/TKO. However, he also takes a lot of shots, absorbing almost 6 strikes per minute and his grappling leaves a lot to be desired. 

On the other hand, we have a slight underdog in Parker Porter, a 37-year-old heavyweight out of the US with a mixed bag of results. Porter has an unimpressive 12-7 MMA record, but he’s won 3 of his 5 UFC bouts and has actually shown some skill. Porter also dishes and takes a lot of shots with almost 6.5 on both ends, but he’s been very successful when he uses his grappling. He has that advantage going into this fight and if he can land just one or two takedowns, I think he will have this fight in the bag. 

Best Bet: Parker Porter Moneyline +110

UFC 284 Crute vs. Menifield Picks

  • Light Heavyweight Bout
  • Jimmy Crute -190 vs. Alonzo Menifield +160

The fight that will kick off the main card will be the Light Heavyweight bout between Jimmy Crute and Alonzo Menifield. The bookmakers have said their piece and they all agree - Jimmy Crute is going to win. However… 

Jimmy Crute hasn’t won a fight since October 2020. He is on a 2-fight losing streak and coming off a KO loss to Jamahal Hill a year ago. When it comes to his skillset, Jimmy can be a very dangerous opponent when he can mix in his striking and grappling. But when he can’t get takedowns, it’s a bad day at the office. His striking isn’t very impressive on its own, and when facing a heavy hitter like Menifield, I don’t feel like these odds reflect the real situation. 

Alonzo Menifield is a KO artist with 10 of his 13 career wins coming via KO/TKO, with 2 subs and 1 decision in the mix. He doesn’t like to waste time, and he had a surge in 2022, defeating Askar Mozharov and Misha Cirkunov by knockout. Menifield has very heavy hands and his takedown defence has been terrific recently. He has the means to, not only win this one but also to do so in explosive fashion, which is why the odds next to his name are very enticing. I’m going with 2 bets in this one with a very high potential return, but make sure to split your stakes accordingly. 

Best Bet: Alonzo Menifield Moneyline (+163)
Best Bet: Menifield by KO/TKO/DQ (+250) 

UFC 284 Culibao vs. Baghdasaryan Picks 

  • Featherweight Bout
  • Josh Culibao -110 vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan -110

For our final best bet, we’re going down into the prelim card. We’re looking at the Featherweights again, and don’t be surprised if this one turns out to be the most exciting fight of the bunch. We have two great prospects in Josh Culibao and Melsik Baghdasaryan who haven’t been in the UFC very long and are hungry to make a name for themselves.

Joshua Culibao is a very good striker with heavy hands who throws and also absorbs around 3 strikes per minute. However, his footwork is still developing and his power shots are not very difficult to see coming. He has shown some signs of solid grappling but this isn't something we can consider a reliable weapon. 

Melsik Baghdasaryan is a fighter with experience in both boxing and kickboxing, who only started actively doing MMA 3 years ago. But his striking has proven to be a very deadly weapon, as he is currently on a 7-fight winning streak, 5 of which have come via KO/TKO. He certainly isn’t someone who is going to try and grapple his way to victory and we already know what he’s going to do. Baghdasaryan is a great counter-striker, who uses his footwork and timing to always stay a step ahead of his opponents and his stats show it. He lands a very impressive 6.00 strikes per minute whilst absorbing around 3.5, and I expect him to have the much-needed edge here. 

Best Bet: Melsik Baghdasaryan Moneyline (-105)

UFC 284 Bets, Picks & Predictions

UFC 284 Betting Odds

UFC 284 Main Card
Islam Makhachev -400 vs. Alexander Volkanovski +310
Yair Rodriguez -190 vs. Josh Emmett +160
Jack Della Maddalena -330 vs. Randy Brown +260
Justin Tafa -120 vs. Parker Porter +100
Jimmy Crute -190 vs. Alonzo Menifield +160

UFC 284 Preliminary Card Odds
Tyson Pedro -230 vs. Modestas Bukauskas +190
Josh Culibao -110 vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan -110
Shannon Ross +260 vs. Kleydson Rodrigues -330
Jamie Mullarkey -280 vs. Francisco Prado +230

UFC 284 Early Preliminary Card Odds
Jack Jenkins -360 vs. Don Shainis +280
Loma Lookboonmee -310 vs. Elise Reed +250
Shane Young -140 vs. Blake Bilder +120
Zubaira Tukhugov -625 vs. Elves Brenner +450

Odds per FanDuel - Subject to Change