Alexander Volkanovski Wants To Take On The Biggest Challenges, Not Protect His Record

UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is not worried about protecting his record, he wants to take on the biggest challenges.

Alexander Volkanovski
Credit Alexander Volkanovski on Instagram

Alexander Volkanovski is ready to take on the biggest challenge of his life when he fights Islam Makhachev.

Right now Alexander Volkanovski is the top dog in the UFC. He is the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the organization and is riding a 22-fight winning streak. He is putting all of this on the line next month when he moves up in weight and takes on lightweight champion Islam Makhachev. 

Makhachev is fresh off his title win over Charles Oliveira and throughout his rise in the division has been virtually unstoppable. His ground game is among the best in the UFC and he will have a size advantage over the featherweight champ Volkanovski. Despite all the cards stacked against Volkanovski, he is looking forward to this daunting task and explains why he is taking this risk instead of staying in the featherweight division. 

Alexander Volkanovski is looking to grow his mindset in this lightweight title fight

Volkanovski has been rolling in the UFC 145 pounds division. He has yet to lose since joining the UFC in 2016 and has defeated some of the best in the history of the division. Now he is risking his success and his P4P ranking to take on someone outside his division. Of course with a win comes the glory of being a two-division champion, but that is not what is driving him on this journey. Volkanovski spoke about the challenge ahead in a recent interview with The All-Star. 

“I want challenges,” he said. “These challenges are making me better, making me a better human being, and making me have that stronger mindset, a better mentality, the mentality I’ve always had, chasing these things. Sitting there and just protecting records and things like that, it’s never been how I was and it never will be. That’s what I mean. Every fight is a risk. I go out there and everyone has a puncher’s chance you know, I’d rather take on bigger challenges, I’d rather take on challenges people think can’t be done. Because at the end of the day, that just moves you forward.”

There has been much preparation on Volkanovski’s side going into this fight. Having to move up in weight means that he has been bulking up to take on the bigger Makhachev. He has also been focusing on his wrestling. Makhachev trains under the tutelage of Khabib Nurmagomedov and much like his mentor is very dangerous on the ground. Volkanovski explained that he has been utilizing multiple training partners, one right after the other to simulate the drowning effect of his opponent’s ground game. 

“These are the types of fights that really put you there,” he said. “Against Islam, right now, what he did to Oliveira, people are thinking, you know, especially that Dagestani wrestler and you know, that style, and he’s a very strong style. But again, you know, I don’t fold under that type of pressure I don’t fold under any of that. So, I’m ready for the challenge. I’m putting myself in uncomfortable positions every day. Just constant shark tanks, getting fresh bodies, strong guys, just constantly put me in bad positions and just rounds and rounds and rounds of it.”

Volkanovski thinks that this fight with Makhachev will be contested mainly on the feet. He called for a striking battle but knows that his foe will be shooting for the takedown. He believes that if he is taken down, he will be getting back up and will be able to control the pace of the fight. 

This bout between Volkanovski and Makhachev will be taking place as the main event of UFC 284 in Perth, Australia on February 12. 

Published on January 2, 2023 at 10:20 am
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