Alexander Volkanovski Coach Explains Why Charles Oliveira Is Tougher Than Islam Makhachev

Volkanovski has repeatedly hinted at moving up to lightweight in a bid to become a two-weight UFC champion.

Alexander Volkanovski
Alexander Volkanovski - Image via @alexvolkanovski Instagram

We could see Alexander Volkanovski move up to lightweight in the future.

The featherweight champion is currently set for a trilogy fight with Max Holloway which takes place July 2 at the upcoming UFC 276 event.

However, Volkanovski has repeatedly hinted in recent months of moving up to lightweight to potentially become a two-weight UFC champion.

That will be even more likely should he go 3-0 against Holloway.

As for the lightweight division, Charles Oliveira is the number one contender with the belt vacant. Who he will face remains to be seen, but most predict it will likely be Islam Makhachev.

And according to Volkanovski’s head coach Eugene Bareman, “Do Bronx” would represent a more difficult challenge for Volkanovski compared to Makhachev.

“Definitely Oliveira’s the more difficult match-up in my opinion,” Bareman told Submission Radio. “Again, it just depends. Oliveira has a more well-rounded skillset, so there’s more to deal with. I mean, Islam’s got good stand-up, but that just depends on who you are looking in, I guess. But yeah, I just think Oliveira would be a more well-rounded skillset for Volk to deal with.

“Whereas Islam, perhaps we could narrow a couple of things down and concentrate on those few things. Which is easier said than done, because just like in much the fashion of Khabib, Islam excels. He may only do one or two aspects of the sport really, really well, but he does them at the highest level. So, that’s the difficulty.”

Bareman: Alexander Volkanovski Would Bring Strength To 155

One thing is for sure — given Volkanovski’s dominance at 145 pounds, either fight would be intriguing to witness.

It’s even more so the case given that “The Great” won’t have to cut an extra 10 pounds in order to compete.

Bareman claims Volkanovski’s physicality and strength is already tough to handle for bigger guys, but it will spell even further trouble for lightweights if he competes at 155 pounds.

“Every single person, doesn’t matter who you are, what experience you have, he grabs you and you feel something different. It’s a different feeling from anything that I’ve ever felt from someone of that stature,” Bareman added. “And I think the lightweight guys still feel that.

“Look, I got middleweights and light heavyweights that feel it. They’re like, ‘f*cken hell’. They’re really surprised when Alex grabs them. And you’re talking about guys like two or three divisions up from him. Lightweight’s only one division above him. So, I think you’d see the same Alex, just that strength and that raw physicalness that he brings.”

You can watch the full interview below:

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