Alexander Volkanovski thinks that Islam Makhachev and his corner will be second-guessing their game plan once the fight starts at UFC 284.
One of the most anticipated fights of the year is just under two weeks away. The UFC lightweight strap will be on the line as champion Islam Makhachev looks to defend against the featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in Perth Australia. This matchup is pitting two of the best fighters in the world against each other to claim the number one pound-for-pound spot and take home the 155-pound belt.
Much has been made regarding size in the matchup. Volkanovski is much smaller in stature but all along he has been claiming that his strength will win him this bout, now he is explaining just how he expects to do that and how his tenacity and drive will make Makhachev and his team lose their minds in the bout.
Alexander Volkanovski can see Makhachev and company getting uncomfortable with his ability to get back up
Volkanovski is small for the lightweight division, this is something that he knows. He also knows that he can be champion at 155 pounds. He plans to showcase his takedown defense and rely on his striking against the wrestling heavy Makhachev. Volkanovski filmed a motivational video for Main Event on YouTube in which he discussed just how he plans to throw Makhachev off course.
“Once a start putting hands on you, once you grab a hold and your like, f–k he’s a strong little bastard, once I get straight back up, pop you in the face, that’s when they’re going to start getting uncomfortable,” he said. “I need to capitalize when I’m on the feet. If he gets me down, I get back up. I need to put hands on him, I need to capitalize.”
Makhachev has not lost a bout since 2015. He has risen up the UFC ranks over the past few years and has utilized dominant wrestling and takedowns along the way. It seems that all fighters who face him know that this will be his game plan but are still unable to stop him. Volkanovski is preparing for this as well and believes he will be the man who can stand back up and make Makhachev pay.
“I think he’s going to be mentally strong as well,” he said. “I reckon Khabib and the boys, they put themselves through work, I know they will train hard, but I feel like them being so uncomfortable on the feet and getting desperate for takedowns and then not being as successful as they originally planned. I feel like that’s where he’s gonna start losing his head, him in his corner.”
This massive champion vs. champion bout will be taking place at UFC 284 on February 11. Both men are undefeated in over ten bouts in the UFC. Both men believe they have a plan that will lead them to victory but only one will come out holding that lightweight strap.