Alex Volkanovski is targeting a finish over Islam Makhachev in their upcoming bout at UFC 284.
Reigning featherweight champ Volkanovski will take on lightweight champ Makhachev in the headlining fight of UFC 284 on Feb. 12 in the promotion’s grand return to Australia. The pound-for-pound king will look to become a double-champ whereas Makhachev will aim to topple him off the throne.
Alex Volkanovski wants to finish Islam Makhachev
In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Alex Volkanovski shared his thoughts on the nearing fight with Makhachev. He praised the Dagestani fighter’s impressive skillset and believed he was underrated in areas like striking. However, he’s confident a finish could be in the cards.
“Obviously, we know where the advantages are going to be for me and where the advantages are going to be for him. He wants it on the ground and I want it on the feet,” said Volkanovski. “His striking is definitely underrated if you’re looking at just combos and all that stuff. Yeah, it’s not the prettiest. It’s not like he has the best setups and things like that but he’s still calculated. He’s not going to take unnecessary risks. He’s not going to put himself too much out of position majority of the time. A lot of times he’ll wait to shoot. He’s calculated and he is underrated.”
“There’s more ways to winning for someone like Islam. We know where he wants to take it. I know where I need to capitalize so that’s why you’re going to see me very dangerous on the feet and really when I say capitalize, you’re going to see me really want to hurt him on the feet. I really do believe that I can get a finish.”
Volkanovski says Makhachev won’t underestimate him
Given the size discrepancy between the two, many believe ‘The Great’ would be undersized against Makhachev. Volkanovski believes it’s a part of the trash talk but doesn’t think Makhachev would underestimate him due to it.
“He’s a pretty respectful dude. I don’t know I think that’s just his way of maybe a little bit of trash talk or whatever it is. If he really feels like, ‘this guy’s just too small, he’s going to be weak’ and all that type of stuff, he’s going to be in for a rude shock. But I think he’s got a pretty clever team to understand that I ain’t a pushover.”
Alex Volkanovski has received major backing from the likes of UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping in the upcoming fight but it is yet to be seen whether he succeeds in his mission.