Javier Mendez has provided a detailed breakdown of the UFC 284 main event between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski.
Makhachev is only days away from defending his UFC lightweight championship against Volkanovski. There has been plenty of breakdowns from analysts and fighters, but nobody can detail the Russian’s upcoming matchup better than his coach. Mendez joined Submission Radio to discuss the highly-anticipated fight and had this to say:
“The betting odds are going with Islam because he’s the bigger guy, the better grappler, and he’s great at taking people down… In my mind, I’d be foolish to think we just want to stand with Alex. No, obviously, we want to take him down, but he’s got different plans on can he be taken down, and if you take him down, are you gonna keep him down? Obviously, you know, his camp is working on ways to get back up, and will they will be successful? My job is to say no, but we’ll see come fight time.”
Despite Makhachev’s team being extremely confident heading into UFC 284, Mendez praised Volkanovski to clarify they aren’t underestimating the featherweight champion. The American Kickboxing Academy coach said this to Submission Radio:
“Alex doesn’t have a great ground [game], but a good ground, and he’s super strong. That’s one of the things that I’m not underestimating him. He is super strong, and probably, out of all the people Islam has fought, I would say he’s the most super strong-willed. He is super super strong in mental, and he does not believe anyone can beat him, and those individuals are very difficult because they won’t quit no matter what. Even when you think you have them, you don’t because he finds a way to get out…”
On February 11, history will be made as two UFC world champions determine the number one pound-for-pound fighter. Makhachev is currently a sizeable betting favorite, but Volkanovski can’t be overlooked, despite the size disadvantage. Only time will tell if ‘The Great’ can pull off the upset.
Watch the Submission Radio interview with Javier Mendez below:
Javier Mendez reveals Islam Makhachev has plans to become a two-division UFC champion
Javier Mendez made it clear Islam Makhachev and his team aren’t overlooking Alexander Volkanovski. With that said, the Submission Radio guys asked the AKA coach about Makhachev potentially attempting to become a two-division UFC champion at welterweight in the future. Mendez responded by saying:
“I 100% see that, and the reason why I see that is because Islam wishes that. When he wishes that, he’s gonna will it to happen, so he’s gonna train, he’s gonna clear out the division like he wants to do, and then he’s gonna go for the welterweight title and whoever that person, at that particular time is gonna be, I feel he’s gonna beat.”
Before focusing on a transition to welterweight, Makhachev has arguably his toughest test to date at UFC 284. Despite being undersized, Volkanovski’s speed and fight IQ are a problem for any fighter on the planet. Meanwhile, the reigning lightweight king has looked nearly unbeatable since losing to Adriano Martins in 2015. Needless to say, missing the main event on February 11 would be a mistake.