Dan Hooker Feels That Islam Makhachev Is ‘Looking Down’ On Volkanovski

Dan Hooker feels that lightweight champion Islam Makhachev is looking down on the matchup with featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski.

Hooker Volkanovski
Credit Dan Hooker and Islam Makhachev on Instagram

Dan Hooker thinks Islam Makhachev is underestimating Alexander Volkanovski.

At UFC 280 there was a new UFC lightweight champion crowned. Islam Makhachev defeated Charles Oliveira to become the new king at 155 pounds. Although there are plenty of worthy opponents in the lightweight division, the UFC is planning to go a different route for Makhachev’s first title defense. They are matching him up with the featherweight champion and number one pound-for-pound fighter Alexander Volkanovski.  

Volkanovski will be making the jump up ten pounds to challenge for the lightweight strap. He was granted this opportunity after he was willing to serve as a backup for the UFC 280 main event. Makhachev is very willing to take on this man who is smaller than him for his first title defense, but some of Volkanovski’s closest friends believe he is underestimating the Australian powerhouse. Now Volkanovski’s buddy, fellow UFC fighter Dan Hooker is coming to his defense. 

Dan Hooker is standing up to defend his friend and training partner

Hooker recently took to making a case for why Makhachev should not be underestimating Volkanovski. Yes, he is smaller than Makhachev, but he is number one on the P4P rankings for a reason. Volkanovski has not lost in 22 fights and almost ten years. 

“For Islam to turn around very quickly and to call out Alexander Volkanovski, that I feel like they’re doing it because obviously, it’s a chance that the number one pound-for-pound, but I feel like they’re kinda looking down on him, like, oh, man, we’ll go snatch up this featherweight real quick, but they’re really in for a whole lot of trouble,” Hooker told Submission Radio. “There’s an incredibly difficult man to hold on the ground. Like they keep saying he’s short and stuff, but holding him on the ground, holding a guy that’s that stocky on the ground is incredibly difficult. So I feel like he’s in for an incredibly tough test in Alex Volkanovski in Perth.”

Hooker and Volkanovski have trained together in the past at City Kickboxing, a well-known gym in New Zealand. Hooker knows firsthand just how difficult Volkanovski’s ground game is. Makhachev is known for his wrestling and is trained by Khabib Nurmagomedov another elite Sambo wrestler. In the leadup to UFC 280, Volkanovski stated that he was already training for the takedowns and ground game of Makhachev, now he will have three more months to perfect his game plan. The two are rumored to be meeting in Perth, Australia in February. 

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