- Alexander Volkanovski reflected on his loss to Islam Makhachev and is excited to do a rematch in Abu Dhabi
- “The Great” is confident he could end Yair Rodriguez’s impressive run at UFC 290
Alexander Volkanovski admitted that he might have underestimated Islam Makhachev a bit but he’s excited to prove that it’s not gonna happen again even if the rematch takes place in Abu Dhabi. At the same time, “The Great” remains focused on assessing what Yair Rodriguez will bring to the table once they meet inside the Octagon.
Volk wants to do it Right this Time and with No Excuses
Speaking to David Adesanya on Freestylebender, Volk reflected on doubting Makhachev’s abilities and how he has been planning of bouncing back stronger in the rematch.
“I believed in my ability and my fight IQ and my understanding of the game and the understanding of these positions that would be good and then obviously, preparation and everything like that but I mean I just didn’t know how good he was,” Volkanovski said. “Obviously he was really good and I gave him a bit of a doubt so it went how I thought it would go. I knew that you know he probably will get me taken he will take me down but I will get back up. I’ll be very hard to submit I knew that.”
“So he did live up to the hype, again a lot of people just thought that there’s no way, so everyone would think my confidence would be out because they didn’t expect me to do that but I did,” he added.
The reigning UFC featherweight champion also pointed out that he is excited to prove that he could beat Makhachev regardless of where the fight happens, suggesting people can no longer say Islam did not have enough time to rehydrate as they did in the first match in Australia.
“100 percent it does. It does excite me,” Volk said. “Obviously just a rematch itself and the challenge of getting that… belt, in his backyard and all that like that just adds to the story and I love that because I know I’m not going to be fazed how many times we’ve got to fight overseas… Obviously I’ve been booed plenty of times I just end up using that as fuel… That’s just how I’m programmed. I’ll find a way to get myself motivated and make it work every single time. They talk about being positive and moving on and I’m all about that… these guys are going to try and use it as excuses, I’m probably gonna use it I’m gonna use it as a fuel.”
“You get the story of everyone going, ‘Oh, now he’s going over to Abu Dhabi,’ they’re going to talk about longer rehydrating times or whatever… all these excuses because you fought in Australia even though we travel every single time… you’re making as if it’s some crazy thing you did even though we do that all the time, I’m gonna show you I’ll do it in your backyard all that and that sh*t ain’t gonna matter,” he added.
Yair is Good but he’s Different from the Others
As for his upcoming unification bout with interim featherweight champion Yair Rodriguez, Volkanovski said he is expecting “El Pantera” to try and finish him like what he did to his past opponents. However, “The Great” said Rodriguez will just be upset because he has been studying how he could “systematically” take him out.
“He’s a dangerous fighter. he’s always looking for the finish which is exciting… he’s going to bring it you know, he’s going to be unpredictable,” Volk said of Yair. “He’s going to be looking for the finish even if it goes to the ground, he’s constantly looking for the finish. His last couple of fights was from submissions, that’s just the fighter he is. He’s on the back foot and he’s coming back with flying and speed kicks you know no matter where it is he is looking for the finish whether you’re pressuring him, whether you’re on the back foot, he’s marching forward looking for the finish which again that’s exciting but obviously there’s a lot of threats.”
“Does that leave a lot of openings? Yeah it does,” he added. “But I can’t wait to use that fight IQ and just systematically break him down, take away him thinking I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that and then all of a sudden he can’t do any of those just from my fighting style and things that I’m doing.”
Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez will headline UFC 290 on July 8 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Needless to say, Volk has to put on an impressive performance as it would be vital for his plea to run it back with Islam.