Alexander Volkanovski will take on Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title at UFC 284 next month. Volkanovski currently reigns as the 145-pound champion of the world and will now go for a second title against newly-crowned lightweight champion Makhachev. If successful, Volkanovski will join an exclusive club of fighters who were able to capture titles in two different weight classes simultaneously.
However, he’ll have a tall task ahead of him against Makhachev, who has proven to be one of the most dominant athletes the 155-pound division has seen as of late. Makhachev’s grappling dominance has rivaled that of his mentor and former coach, ex-UFC lightweight kingpin Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Alexander Volkanovski Sees Big Advantage Against Makhachev
Volkanovski recently did an interview with FreeStylebender to preview the superfight. While he admits that Makhachev’s grappling is one big problem he’ll have to deal with, he believes Makhachev will have much more to worry about with his own skillset.
“There’s so many layers to the problems I can give him,” Alexander Volkanovski said. “That’s the thing, people are like ‘This, this this, and this’ – I got one thing to worry about. His strength and size? Nah I’m not too fussed about that. It’s grappling. It’s pretty obvious what he wants to do. He’s got a lot more things to worry about.
“I’m not saying he can’t strike for sh*t, but he’s very calculated, he’s patient, he does things very well that’s really well for his game. But when it comes to problems, he has a lot of problems to deal with. I got one big problem. It’s a big problem. But preparation is everything. I’m doing the preparation, I’m doing what needs to be done. This camp we went above and beyond.”
Makhachev has been on a tear since suffering the first and only defeat of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career in 2015. He has won 11-fights straight since; including wins over Dan Hooker, Bobby Green, and Charles Oliveira. The latter of which earned him the vacant 155-pound championship, thus, beginning his reign.
As for Volkanovski, he has yet to lose under the UFC, proving himself extremely dominant after taking out names such as Max Holloway, Jose Aldo, Brian Ortega, and so much more. If he’s able to top the likes of Makhachev, there’s no telling how far the Australian champion could stretch his legacy.