UFC 284 is now in the rearview mirror, but fans are still in awe of the main event. Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski made the jump up in weight and challenged lightweight champion Islam Makhachev for the title. Although smaller than Makhachev, Volkanovski held his own and put on a very competitive performance. In the end, it was Makhachev that came out on top with the unanimous decision victory although many on social media had scored the fight for Volkanovski.
The bout was so close in fact that the UFC and both fighters involved have been talking about a rematch. Certainly, Volkanovski’s camp, including his coach Eugene Bareman, can be on board for this although there is another option waiting.
Eugune Bareman thinks Alexander Volkanovski’s next test will be even more difficult to prepare for
While Volkanovski was preparing to jump up to 155 pounds, the UFC was in the process of creating an interim title in the featherweight division. That title is now being held by Yair Rodriguez who won it at UFC 284. Now Volkanovski will be returning to 145 pounds to face Rodriguez if the rematch with Makhachev doesn’t pan out.
His coach Bareman thinks that the team did a great job preparing for Makhachev and that the unpredictability of Rodriguez might make for a more difficult game plan and training camp. He spoke about this on The MMA Hour.
“Go back to 145, obviously there is a fight sitting right there. I don’t know what Islam is doing, if he’s gonna fight soon or if he is going to fight twice a year,” he said. “I’m not sure what his plans are. We have a flight locked in if Alex wants to and it’s a very difficult fight, in many ways a much more difficult fight than the one we just had versus Yair so I think that’s a challenge. And I think he should probably take it.”
Bareman voiced his pride surrounding Volkanovski and the way he held his own in the bout against Makhachev. He felt that his fighter had done enough to win, and also thinks the right man is still at the top of the UFC pound-for-pound rankings.