With only fourteen days remaining until the highly-anticipated UFC 284 event in Australia, the stage is set for an electrifying main event between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski. As the reigning featherweight champion, Volkanovski has set his sights on ascending to the next weight class, but standing in his way is the formidable Makhachev.
The match-up promises to be a truly compelling one, as both fighters bring a unique set of skills to the octagon. Makhachev's imposing physicality is often cited as one of his greatest assets. Many have suggested that Volkanovski's smaller frame will be a disadvantage in the fight, but ultimately, it will be up to the fighters themselves to determine the outcome in the cage.
Despite this, Volkanovski is wary of Makhachev's tendency to underestimate his abilities. Volkanovski said following: “I love that,” Volkanovski said on Israel Adesanya’s YouTube page. “Everyone says that, ‘I love being the underdog,’ but I do.
That’s the challenge, being the underdog, proving the doubters and the haters, all that type of stuff — I don’t let it really get to me, but I let it get to me enough where I’m like, ‘Alright, I’m going to train a little bit harder, I’m going to shut these guys up, and I’m going to go out there and do it.’ It makes me want those fights.
Those are fights that I want. I feel like in the featherweight division I was trying to find which fight that was going to be and then this lightweight thing came and that’s what I wanted. I’m glad I did it because it’s already made me such a better fighter.
“The fact that I’m moving up, doing the bulking, telling myself we need to get stronger, we need to work on that takedown defense, all of a sudden I’m twice as strong as I was. My defense is just on point.
I’m like an absolute brick wall when people are trying to run into me and they feel it, they instantly feel it as soon as they grab ahold of me or we grab each other. They can already significantly see the strength, so it just makes you think where I go from here”.
“I’m f****** tiny. I’ve always been short,” Volkanovski said. “That’s just how it is. Even the featherweights are taller than me. But you can see in his face like, ‘This guy ain’t too big.’ I’ve seen that on plenty of people’s faces.
I’ve seen that on my previous fights. My last four, five fights, but that face quickly changes when I’m in the octagon. Give me 10 seconds with him, that face changes real quick. All of a sudden that size doesn’t matter, all of a sudden my footwork, ‘Where’s this guy at? I’m in a puzzle, he’s already giving drama.’ Then I put my hands on him, there’s another problem.
Then they try to grab ahold of me and I’m a little brick f****** wall, there’s another problem. That’s when you see them start to crumble and be like, ‘F***, what have I got myself into?’ That’s exactly what’s going to happen with Islam, especially the way he’s looking. I can tell he really thinks he’s going to be way too strong”.