UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski thinks Islam Makhachev is underestimating him ahead of his superfight at UFC 284 next month. Volkanovski is scheduled to challenge Makachev for the UFC lightweight title on February 12 in Australia.
*WARNING: Contains language that readers may find offensive*
Volkanovsky claims Makachev overlooked him
Two champions will face off in Perth, Australia at UFC 284. Featherweight champion Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski welcomes lightweight champion Islam Makhachev to his native Australia for his event, the stellar card for MMA action.
Makachev and Volkanovski are currently the best pound-for-pound players in the world. This is one of Volk’s first fights in his UFC career. He’s quite the underdog, but the Australian enjoys the underdog tag as the fight draws near.
In a recent video on Israel Adesanya’s YouTube channel, Volkanowski revealed that as he gears up to win the lightweight title, he has no other choice.
“Everybody says, ‘I like to be a loser,’ and I do. Being underdog, proving skeptics and haters, all that stuff — me doesn’t really let it get to me, but I think it makes me say, ‘Okay, I’m going to train a little harder. ’ It makes me want to fight them. Those are the battles I want.
The 34-year-old believes he’s taken a leap forward in strength and power ahead of his step up to 155 pounds. The 25-1 mixed martial artist is confident he is doing everything right for his lightweight debut.
“The fact that I need to move up, do bulking, tell myself I need to be stronger, work on takedown defense – suddenly I am twice as strong as I was before. The defense is just right I’m like a complete brick wall when people are about to run into me and they feel it as soon as they grab me or grab each other I feel it. They’re already showing a lot of strength, and it makes me think about where I’m going from here.”
Islam Makachev won the UFC lightweight title at UFC 280. Shortly after the match, the Russian called Volkanovski to the next “Champion vs. Champion” showdown. The Australian acted as a backup fighter in case Machachev or then-lightweight champion Charles Oliveira had to drop weight or stop fighting.
To be fair to Makachev, the frontrunner for this fight on the best sports betting app, he immediately called up Volkanovski and was keen to set up this superfight. We think we want this fight because we believe Makachev is an easy target.
“I’m fucking tiny. I’ve always been short,” Volkanowski said.
“Exactly. Even the featherweights are taller than me. But when you look at his face, you know, ‘This guy isn’t too big. ‘” I have seen it in many people’s faces. We’ve seen it in previous battles. In the recent 4 or 5 races, the face changes when it becomes an octagon. With him he waits 10 seconds. Its face immediately changes. Suddenly the size was no longer an issue and suddenly my footwork was like, ‘Where is this guy? Well, there’s another problem, then they try to grab me and I’m a small brick f******** wall, there’s another problem.
“That’s when you see them start to fall apart and be like, ‘F***, what the hell did I get into?’ That’s exactly what happens in Islam, especially the way he sees it. We can see that he really thinks he is too strong. ”
UFC 284 takes place on February 12th (3am ET) at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. UFC fans can check out the SportsLens website for a variety of UFC free bets.