- Islam Makhachev already thinks he has become the best fighter in the world after beating Alexander Volkanovski
- The lightweight champ outright denied telling his corner that he thought he lost to Volk after the fight
Islam Makhachev made history in his very first title defense as the UFC lightweight champion. He edged the UFC’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in Alexander Volkanovski which makes him believe that he’s already the best fighter in the world bar none.
Jones’ win wouldn’t change a thing
Speaking to reporters in his UFC 284 post-fight press conference, Makhachev admitted that beating a fighter like Volk was easier said than done. Nevertheless, he got the job done and he deserves all the credit for it.
“It doesn’t matter how I won today, now I’m not just champion, I’m the best fighter in the world,” Makhachev said. “I am very happy. Now people are going to call me not just champ, but ‘best fighter in the world.’ This is my dream, and it doesn’t matter how I won, I’m very happy. It was a hard fight with Volkanovski because of many things,” Makhachev said. “I come from another country, more than 13,000 kilometers from my country, I come with my team, and the time is changed, and we come to the arena early morning, many things. But I don’t prepare myself for easy fights.”
He added, “We fight not for the belt, but for who is going to be the best fighter in the world. That’s why it was a hard fight.”
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will make his heavyweight debut in a title fight with Ciryl Gane in March. Many believe that it will be significant as a win over Gane could see “Bones” becoming the pound-for-pound king.
As early as now, Makhachev is already dismissing it, pointing out that his performances, including the one against Volkanovski, were better than that of Jones’.
“Because you know why? John Jones is a great fighter of course he is the best bat last time he won like Split Decision or he have always hard fight but I don’t know it’s I don’t think after this fight he’s gonna be best because I not just why I am best right now because I beat best fighter in the world that’s why I think I’m more deserve this and if somebody want to be best. I am ready. Come in,” Makhachev explained.
Islam knows he won
In the final moments of the final round, Volkanovski evidently got the better of Makhachev. When asked if it was true that Volkanovski heard him telling his corner that he thought he lost the fight, Makhachev quickly shut it down.
“This is not true. I don’t say that I’m a loser. I know like in my mind when fight is finished, I know minimum I won three rounds. I don’t say I’m lose. Nothing,” Makhachev stressed.
Former UFC superstar Nate Diaz was among the many who reacted on Makhachev’s win over Volkanovski. The Stockton native thinks Makhachev did not beat “The Great” but the Dagestani fighter just laughed it off.
“Honestly, I don’t want to talk about this guy,” Makhachev said. “I don’t know what he’s saying. Maybe he smoked something and watched the fight.”
As expected, Volkanovski thinks he should get a quick rematch as he is certain he could make some adjustments on his game. On the other hand, Makhachev will be waiting for his next title defense and is now set to dethrone Volk as the UFC’s pound-for-pound king.