As the highly-anticipated UFC 284 fight card draws near, the lack of promotion surrounding the champion vs. champion showdown between Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev has left fans and fighters alike scratching their heads. Despite being one of the biggest “champion vs. champion” fights in UFC history, with both fighters dominating in the Octagon in recent years, the event has been largely overlooked amidst a busy 2023 news cycle for the UFC.
In a recent interview with R-Sport Russia, Islam Makhachev expressed his disappointment with the lack of promotion for the event, particularly in terms of pay-per-view.
“I see that it is not such a big promotion,’ Makhachev said. “Dana White himself has some problems. He does not pay much attention to this fight. In terms of pay-per-view, yes, more could have been done. I only saw Volkanovski once, in Sydney. A tour could be organized around the world, a conference could be held in America.”
Makhachev’s comment highlights the UFC’s tendency to overlook international events, with UFC 284 taking place in Perth, Australia. Considering Makhachev’s close ties to Khabib Nurmagomedov and his skills as an English speaker, additional press conferences could have proved beneficial for the promotion. However, it’s also worth noting that interactions between the two fighters so far have been cordial and aren’t typically of the type that would garner hype, especially from the casual fanbase.
The UFC’s recent social media activity has also drawn criticism after MMA Junkie reporter Mike Bohn observed that just one out of the 50 most recent posts on the UFC’s Twitter account focused on UFC 284, while nine were dedicated to the Power Slap League.
While the UFC is known for ramping up promotion during fight week, the lack of attention given to the Makhachev vs. Volkanovski fight raises questions about the UFC’s commitment to promoting one of the biggest events of the year. As the day of the event approaches, fans and fighters alike will be hoping for a greater effort from the UFC to generate buzz and bring the fight the attention it deserves.
Volkanovski vs. Makhachev is the main event of UFC 284. The fight card will stream live only on ESPN+ PPV in the United States on Saturday, Feb. 11. Order the PPV now.