Michael Bisping believes the size difference between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski is overrated.
Volkanovski has never been considered a big featherweight, which has created concerns about his move up to lightweight. It also doesn’t help that ‘The Great’ is fighting Makhachev, who has the Dagestani strength in the grappling department.
Bisping Crushes the Notion that Makhachev is Too Strong for Volkanovski to Handle
During a video on his YouTube channel, Bisping had this to say about the size difference in the UFC 284 main event:
“Islam’s the bigger guy. 5’10” vs. 5’6”. He’s more than likely, in his opinion, going to be stronger because he looks at Volkanovski as the smaller man, but Volkanovski used to weigh 220 pounds. Volkanovski is only jumping up ten pounds. His body naturally wants to be bigger, and if you speak to him, he says that right now he is a brick wall, and he’s feeling twice as strong as what he ever has done.”
Volkanovski was recently doing an interview with Israel Adesanya’s brother when the reigning UFC featherweight champion said he thinks Makhachev is underestimating him. The 34-year-old also stressed that he’s been focusing on his strength and takedown defense, which could surprise the Russian on fight night.
Watch Michael Bisping discuss Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski below:
Michael Bisping gives detailed breakdown of Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski
Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski is arguably the most difficult upcoming UFC fight to predict. Despite being the pound-for-pound king, Volkanovski needs to prove he’s just as skilled at lightweight. Meanwhile, Makhachev, the number two-ranked pound-for-pound fighter, will be tested by a combination of speed and striking that he hasn’t faced.
During the same YouTube video, Michael Bisping broke down the UFC 284 main event by saying:
“If this fight stays on the feet, I favor Volkanovski. Number one, he has a longer reach even though he’s the smaller guy… Listen, the guy beat Max Holloway on the feet three times… He’s got better footwork, he’s slicker, probably better head movement, he’s well on balance, and of course, he’s going to be stronger at 155 [than at 145]… ”
Bisping continued by saying:
“Can he [Volkanovski] stop the takedowns? I don’t think he can. He probably will be able to get back up… I think Islam will get him down, and I think Volkanovski will get back to his feet, and that is kinda gonna be the fight. It’s gonna be rinse and repeat. We will see some strikes. I think Islam will have success. I think Volkanovski will land more then Islam will get a takedown. Volkanovski will more than likely not play the jiu-jitsu game because if he does, he’ll make a mistake, and he’s playing the game of Islam… ”
On February 11, one of the most significant UFC fights of the year will determine who’s the number one pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. The historic lightweight championship fight goes down in Volkanovski’s backyard inside the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.