Mixed martial arts icon Chael Sonnen shared his analysis of the upcoming fight between Alex Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev.
Reigning UFC featherweight champion and pound-for-pound king Volkanovski is set to headline the upcoming card of UFC 284 this Saturday against lightweight titleholder Makhachev in the promotion’s return to the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. He enters as a massive underdog in his quest to get entry into the ultra-exclusive double-champ club.
Chael Sonnen shares the key factor for Alex Volkanovski v Islam Makhachev at UFC 284
In a recent video posted on YouTube, Chael Sonnen shared his breakdown of the fight between Volkanovski and Makhachev. He believes the deciding factor will be Volkanovski’s response or resistance to getting taken down.
“If Volk gets taken down and he stays there, that’s the sign,” said Sonnen. “That is the sign that I’m overwhelmed and I’ve already felt it… If Volk does that in the first round, gets taken down and stays there, you can tear your ticket up. He’s not going to win the fight. But he knows the only thing he can do when he gets taken down is to scramble. That’s going to be where the real big moment comes. It doesn’t matter if he takes you down. The only part that matters is do you stay there?
“Volk’s been working on that. He knows it or he doesn’t. If he shuts that down, that switch will never get turned back on. I do think we’re going to see wrestling right off the bat. Volk will surprise you guys with his hands.
“When Makhachev goes for the wrestling, it isn’t about if he gets Volk off his feet at all. It’s what does Volk do?”
Sonnen bashed the use of BJJ after getting taken down
‘The Bad Guy’ mocked the effectiveness of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, especially in a wrestling scramble, inside the octagon. He believes Volkanovski’s team would agree with his take as well.
“You don’t stay on your back. You go there when you have to but you get up. You scramble. No one’s submitting somebody from their guard, not on this level. Maybe on the prelims. Volk knows that.
“There is no part of Volk or his coaches or his mother for that matter that has told him, ‘if Islam gets on top, pull guard and think about a gogo plata or a triangle. Try to find an armor.’ That’s just not happening at all. Not at all. Get an under hook, get the hip down, get back to your feet, cause a scramble. At a minimum, get a reversal.”
Makhachev is confident he will snap Volkanovski’s impressive 22-fight-winning run in dominant fashion with a finish. Meanwhile, Volkanovski will aim to pull off an upset this weekend when they clash in the main event of UFC 284.