- What: UFC 284 PPV card
- Date: Saturday, February 11, 2023
- Location: RAC Arena in Perth, Australia
- Time: Early Prelims (6:00 p.m. ET), Prelims (8 p.m. ET), Main Card (10 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: Early Prelims (ESPN+) Prelims (ESPN). Main Card (ESPN + pay-per-view)
The UFC is in Australia for the first time since 2019 on February 11, 2023, when the promotion heads to RAC Arena in Perth for the UFC 284 pay-per-view card. In the main event contest, UFC featherweight champion — and New South Wales, Australia native — Alexander Volkanovski moves up to 155 pounds to challenge UFC lightweight titleholder Islam Makhachev for his belt. Meanwhile, in the co-main event, Josh Emmett and Yair Rodriguez battle for the UFC interim featherweight title. Here is some background on the card’s co-main event fighters before we discuss, in detail, the UFC 284 betting breakdown.
Rodriguez enters this contest as the No. 2 fighter in the official UFC featherweight rankings. The 30-year-old has a record of 14-3-0-1 and is coming off a July 2022 TKO win (via shoulder injury) over Brian Ortega. Emmett is the No. 5 fighter in the UFC’s featherweight division. The 37-year-old is on a five-fight winning streak. Emmett’s most recent outing was his split decision victory over Calvin Kattar in June 2022.
Before we look at the best bets for the UFC 284 featherweight interim title fight between Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.
Yair Rodriguez vs. Josh Emmett picks
Yair Rodriguez vs. Josh Emmett breakdown and analysis
Yair Rodriguez has a five-inch height advantage over Josh Emmett, but only a one-inch advantage when it comes to reach. Both men fight from an orthodox stance. This should be an active fight while the two men are standing. Rodriguez has advantages in strikes landed per minute (4.67 vs. 4.28), striking accuracy (45 percent vs. 37 percent), strikes absorbed per minute (4.12 vs. 4.29), while Emmett is better in his striking defense (63 percent vs. 53 percent).
As for grappling, Emmett is better in takedowns per 15 minutes (1.04 vs. 0.83) and takedown accuracy (40 percent vs. 28 percent). As for Rodriguez, he has advantages in takedown defense (62 percent vs. 58 percent) and submissions per 15 minutes (0.7 vs. 0.1).
Rodriguez has five wins by knockout, three submission victories and six decision triumphs in his career. Two of his three losses have come by knockout and one via decision. Emmett’s career win record features 10 decisions, two submissions and six knockouts. As for Emmett’s losses, he has one knockout setback and one decision defeat.
Who has the edge
Of these two, Rodriguez is the more dynamic striker. His arsenal of striking techniques is deeper and more unpredictable. He is also a more aggressive striker than Emmett and he is unafraid to set a high pace on his opponent in the hope of emptying his foe’s gas tank as the fight wears on. Rodriguez’s risk-taking ways can open him up to counters, but he is very good at gauging time and space and, in doing so, avoiding danger.
Emmett is a more standard striker when compared to Rodriguez. He isn’t going to employ a lot of fancy spinning attacks or work kicks from range. What Emmett has is power in his hands and the ability to do damage in close, especially in the clinch.
The keys to this fight are location and time. Whoever controls where the fight takes place will most likely be the winner. Rodriguez is going to look to keep space between himself and Emmett. Meanwhile, Emmett wants to keep Rodriguez in close and not give him the space he needs to work his kicking techniques or his spinning strikes.
I think Emmett is going to struggle to control Rodriguez over the course of this five-round battle.
Best UFC 284 bets
Rodriguez and Emmett are resilient and tough fighters. With that, the best bet is for this fight to go the distance and even if someone gets a finish, I don’t think it will come in the first half of this five-round scrap. It will not be a shock to see this contest end via knockout, but that’s not my pick. I think the best bet for the co-main event of UFC 284 is for Yair Rodriguez to claim the interim UFC featherweight title with a hard-fought decision win over Josh Emmett.
Best UFC 284 main event picks: Yair Rodriguez to win the interim UFC featherweight title with a decision win over Josh Emmett.
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