- Javier Mendez commented on Islam Makhachev’s title fight win over Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284
- The veteran coach anticipates a rematch and will watch how Volk will perform in his next fight
Islam Makhachev’s coach Javier Mendez admitted that beating Alexander Volkanovski was no walk in the park. He’s also optimistic about getting the UFC’s nod for a rematch.
Volk was tough as nails
Mendez is already a household name in the sport but after the fight, he came clean about witnessing how tough it was to edge Volk. According to the veteran coach, Khabib Nurmagomedov was right when he told them “The Great” would be Makhachev’s “toughest challenger.”
“It was definitely a challenge,” Mendez told Submission Radio. “Alex, he actually became the challenge Khabib [Nurmagomedov] told me that he was gonna be. He felt that Alex was gonna be the toughest challenge for Islam, and that Islam was gonna have to grind it out through the end. That’s what he felt. And I said, well, I didn’t know, cause the way I looked at Islam, he looked fantastic in training. But Khabib had a feeling that it was gonna be a tougher fight than I anticipated myself. So, it was exactly what Khabib thought it was. It was a real tough fight. We got pound-for-pound for a reason, but we beat it from a guy that is the greatest of all-time in the featherweight division and one of the greats of all-time, he’s gonna be, no doubt.”
A rematch is certain
Volkanovski hopes for a rematch and vowed to make certain adjustments to get the better of Makhachev the next time they meet inside the Octagon. Mendez somewhat feels the same way about it and is confident that after the spectacular fight, the UFC will be considered a part two.
“I definitely think the UFC is gonna want to see a rematch, so I don’t see no reason why they wouldn’t do a rematch,” Mendez said. “I think it would be great. I think the fans would love it. I think Islam would be down for it also. And obviously Alex is. Because, I mean, come on now, he calls himself Alexander the Great, and he lives up to that name. So, there’s a reason — and he’s such gentleman. He’s a competitor. He feels he won, but that’s the way you’re supposed to feel. And he’s got the right attitude, and yeah, I think at some point they probably will do a rematch.”
As early as now, Mendez is already anticipating a “different” beast in Volkanovski so, he will be watching closely how the featherweight champion would perform against Yair Rodriguez.
“When they collide again it’s gonna be a different fight, different adversity for both sides,” Mendez speculated. “It’s not gonna be easy for both sides. No way. But let’s see what happens. Let’s see what’s in the cards. I’m sure Yair has got the next calling, and let’s see what happens from there.”
Mendez was also right when he predicted that Makhachev won’t be able to score a finish over Volkanovski. Nevertheless, the Dagestani fighter is convinced that his performance and win has already made him the “best fighter in the world.”
Makhachev awaits the UFC’s call regarding his next title defense. Volkanovski, meanwhile, will surely be slated for a unification bout with Rodriguez, who became the interim featherweight champ by stopping Josh Emmett at UFC 284.