Alexander Volkanovski believes that Islam Makhachev is underestimating him ahead of their super-fight at UFC 284 in two weeks time. The UFC Featherweight Champion is stepping up to lightweight to challenge Makhachev for his 155-pound crown. ‘The Great’ thinks that Makhachev is being complacent and thinks it will be an easy nights work.
*WARNING: Contains some language readers may find offensive*
Makhachev Thinks He’s Going To Be Way Too Strong – Volkanovski
Ahead of his UFC Lightweight Title shot in just a couple weeks time, Alexander Volkanovski has revealed that he believes Islam Makhachev is underestimating him. The current UFC Featherweight Champion is stepping up to 155-pounds to challenge Makhachev, who recently became UFC Lightweight Champion after defeating Charles Oliveira at UFC 280.
Going into this lightweight title fight, Volkanovski is the wide underdog with the best UFC betting apps. It is clear to see why. He is the far smaller man as well as being up against arguably one of the most dominant fighters in the entire UFC right now. Volkanovski knows that he is up against it when he takes on a fellow pound-for-pound contender, but is relishing the opportunity and is happy being the underdog for once.
The 34-year-old sat down recently for Israel Adesanya’s YouTube channel and revealed that he wouldn’t have it any other way:
“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.”
Makhachev vs Volkanovski headlines a stellar UFC 284 card in Perth, Australia on February 12th (3am EST). Both men have impressive records, with Makhachev 23-1 and the Australian 25-1. Both men have only tasted defeat once in their respective careers.
Ahead of his move up to 155-pounds, ‘The Great’ feels like his strength and power has developed massively recently and will pose a lot of problems for his Russian counterpart:
“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 a hold 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.”
Volk served as the back-up fighter at UFC 280 in case either Makhachev or Charles Oliveira missed weight or had to pull out of the fight for whatever reason. However, that wasn’t the case as Makhachev beat Oliveira by second round submission, becoming the UFC Lightweight Champion.
Straight after the fight in the immediate aftermath, Makhachev got on the mic and called out Volkanovski. The 31-year-old told the Aussie that he would travel to his back yard to fight him in a ‘champ vs champ’ fight. Well, here we are. Makhachev was a man of his word.
Makhachev is the overriding favorite with the best offshore sportsbooks for this lightweight title bout. However, Volkanovski believes this may have got to his head as he feels the Russian grappler views him as an easy target when he is far from it:
“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 a hold 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.”
UFC 284 takes place on February 12th (3am EST) at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. UFC fans can avail of various UFC free bets by checking out the The Sports Daily website.
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