Joe Rogan Believes It All Fell Apart for Alexander Volkanovski After the Makhachev Rematch: ‘I Thought He Won the First Time’

Rogan still believes 'The Great' defeated Makhachev in their first meeting at UFC 284 last year

Joe Rogan
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Joe Rogan still believes Alexander Volkanovski did enough to leave UFC 284 as a two-division champion.

Moving up from his post at featherweight to vie for the 155-pound crown, ‘The Great’ delivered a sensational showing against reigning lightweight titleholder Islam Makhachev. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the ‘Dagestani Destroyer’ still walked away with a unanimous decision victory — much to the dismay of fighters and fans who had Volkanovski winning on their scorecards.

And there were a lot of them, including Joe Rogan

During a recent episode of his JRE podcast, the longtime UFC commentator lauded Volkanovski’s performance and once again suggested that ‘The Great’ was the true victor that night. 

“It made such a huge difference, the six to eight weeks,” Rogan said. “Just the fact that he was able to survive on the ground the way he did — not just survive, but be completely safe. He was never close to being threatened with a submission. He was laughing it off and punching him from behind. He’s an animal. 

“When Volkaovski fought the first time and he was perfectly prepared, it was an amazing fight. I thought he won. I thought it was very close, but I thought he won. I think round two was the difference and I could see it going either way, but I gave it to Volk.”

Joe Rogan Confident the Makhachev KO Played a Part in Volkanovski’s Featherweight Title Loss in February

Considering the controversy surrounding their first fight, it was just a matter of time before Makhachev and Volkanovski would run it back. However, nobody expected it to come as quickly as it did. That following October, Makhachev was expected to scrap with Charles Oliveira until ‘Do Bronx’ suffered a cut in training that took him out of the bout.

Volkanovski agreed to step in on less than two weeks’ notice and ultimately paid the price, suffering a brutal first-round head-kick KO. 

“When they announced the rematch, part of me was like, ‘Oh, that’s a great fight,’ but the other part of me was like, ‘Eeee.’ This is the fight for the number one pound-for-pound,” Rogan continued. “I believe Volk won the first fight — it was very close.  I don’t think it was a robbery, but I think that puts him as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Then he loses the fight to Islam and gets caught with that head kick.

Four months later, Volkanovski would jump right back into the fire for a featherweight title defense against Ilia Topuria. He would suffer a similar fate, going down in the second round via another vicious knockout. 

“So in this short amount of time, everything fell apart and I think it wouldn’t have fallen apart if not for the rematch,” Rogan said. “If he’d just waited for Topuria… I gotta think that head kick was a factor.”

Watch the full episode below:

Published on May 28, 2024 at 8:29 pm
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