Interim championships are generally created by the promotion to provide a little oomph to weak pay-per-view (PPV) cards, such as the one headlined by Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane. In the case of UFC 284, defending featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will move up to the lightweight division to face current 155-pound titleholder Islam Makhachev this weekend at the RAC Arena in Perth, Western Australia.
How to watch UFC 284: Rodriguez vs. Emmett co-main fight
What: UFC 284
Where: RAC Arena, Australia
When: 7 PM ET Prelim, main card around 9 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN+ PPV
PPV Stream anywhere: Fitepass PPV
Rodriguez vs. Emmett fight preview
This duel between two elite featherweights pits style against substance. Rodriguez is a more flashy fighter with a distinct style who isn’t afraid to get dirty, whereas Emmett is fundamentally good and doesn’t make many errors. It’s now or never for these two, with a crack at Alexander Volkanovski on the line.
Rodriguez was unable to defeat Max Holloway in their savage battle, but he demonstrated his class in his following bout, defeating Brian Ortega in his biggest win to date. Rodriguez’s activity has been a concern in recent years, although he boasts victories against Chang Sung Jung and Jeremy Stephens. He is a creative attacker with unconventional skills who put physical and mental pressure on his opponents.
Emmett has gradually risen the ranks, gaining a position he has sought since entering the UFC in 2016. A win against Shane Burgos in 2020 cost him his ACL, putting him out until 2021 when he defeated a fading Dan Ige. Emmett won a fairly contentious decision over Calvin Kattar in his previous fight to earn a crack at the interim championship.
While Emmett has a longer winning run, it has not been against tough competition. The Kattar battle demonstrated his potential, and Rodriguez is on par with, if not significantly better than, Kattar. Rodriguez was dominated by Holloway and would struggle against Volkanovski, but he’s the better fighter here unless proven otherwise.
Emmett’s offense is highly predictable and he takes one to earn one with his strikes. That won’t assist him against an active combatant with speed and height advantages. Emmett will have to go inventive to overcome his physical weaknesses and stymie Rodriguez’s output, which is not in his fighting DNA.
UFC 284 Main Card (10pm)
- Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski (Lightweight) – Main Event
- Rodriguez vs. Emmett (Featherweight) – Co-main
- Della vs. Brown (Welterweight)
- Tafa vs. Porter (Heavyweight)
- Crute vs. Manifield (Light Heavyweight)