Alexander Volkanovski doesn’t want to hear excuses about no Khabib Nurmagomedov after he wins at UFC 284

Alexander Volkanovski doesn’t want to hear excuses about no Khabib Nurmagomedov after he wins at UFC 284

It’s been a very, very long time since Alexander Volkanovski has been a betting underdog.

The reigning UFC featherweight champion has been one of MMA’s most dominant forces since joining the UFC in 2016, racking up a 12-0 record and four defenses of his 145-pound belt. on his way to becoming the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. Naturally, he’s been the betting favorite for the majority of this run. But that will change on Feb. 12 when Volkanovski jumps up to 155 pounds to challenge UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev for two-division glory in the main event of UFC 284.

Volkanovski opened as a massive betting underdog in Makhachev and remains with the fight less than two weeks away. And it’s safe to say he relishes all of his new skeptics.

“I like him. I’m okay with that,” Volkanovski said on The MMA Hour. we want this for legacy. I never used to talk like that. If you remember, I never talked about legacy fights and all that stuff, but now I’m into it. Now I’m for the big fights. I love the loser story. I love being the underdog and people say I’m too small and all that stuff. It just adds to the story and that will add to the victory.

“There are going to be a lot of people who are going to doubt me, what I like, and all that kind of stuff – ‘I’m too small, he’s too good at Dagestan wrestling’, and all that kind of stuff. It’s okay. But just remember this. Remember this. Don’t change the narrative when I raise my hand. This is something that I need people to understand, because it’s funny – people will sit and say all that If something happens [and I win]’Oh yeah, [Makhachev] didn’t fight anyone. It was his first defense. All of a sudden they take the win away and act like he’s not the person they said he was before the fight.

“Just remember what you say it is now. You put it on that pedestal – keep it there even if I raise my hand. Don’t change those *** bulls.

Volkanovski, 34, will become just the fifth concurrent two-division champion in UFC history if successful at UFC 284, joining Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo. He has repeatedly stated his intention to retain both titles and defend the throne in both divisions if the Makhachev fight goes his way.

His goals are lofty, which is exactly why Volkanovski doesn’t want to hear any revisionist story about Makhachev if he achieves what he has set himself.

That includes an apology about Makhachev’s longtime mentor and teammate, former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, not being in Makhachev’s corner for UFC 284.

“I guess I was [surprised] at first, but it doesn’t matter – Islam will still come out,” Volkanovski said. “I know people push storytelling and all that kind of stuff. Ultimately, Islam is a great fighter. He’s the one coming in and doing his job, and Khabib will tell you that himself. So again, if my hand goes up, don’t be [complaining]. These are excuses. He fought many times with Khabib not in his corner.

“He’s done it before and he’s a great fighter. He’s going to show up and show up in the octagon anyway, whether Khabib is there or not. So I’m preparing for the same Islam that I saw, and again, if things go the way I planned, don’t start changing narratives and using all these excuses, because that’s the guy in front of him who’s the problem.”

Volkanovski certainly has his work cut out for him.

Makhachev is MMA Fighting’s No. 2 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world for a reason. The 31-year-old has demolished every lightweight in his path over the past six years, racking up 11 straight wins over Charles Oliveira, Arman Tsarukyan, Dan Hooker, Bobby Green, Drew Dober, and more. Makhachev’s title win over Oliveira, in particular, was eye-opening – an eight-minute run that saw him dominate and then subdue the UFC’s all-time submission leader.

Nonetheless, Volkanovski likes what he and his team saw in the game.

“Obviously we know where the benefits will be for me and where the benefits [are] he’s going to have,” Volkanovski said. “He wants it on the ground and I want it on the feet, it’s quite simple. And for people who are going to say, “Oh, his hitting is underrated,” it definitely is. If you just look at the combos and all that, yeah, he’s not the best looking, it’s not like he has the best setups and all that, but he still calculates. He’s not going to take unnecessary risks. He’s not going to get out of position too much most of the time. Maybe when he chooses to punch and things like that he does, but most of the time he’s a bit defensive and he’ll wait for the right moment to shoot.

“So he calculated, like Khabib was and a lot of these Dagestani wrestlers and top grapplers, which is great.

“But at the same time you have to remember my shot,” Volkanovski continued. “I understand all these things. I can’t say too much, but you could do all of these things. I know what you want to do. I am aware of patterns. I fully understand the game. I really do. I understand my style, I understand your style. I have a great team. We have the knowledge, and not only that, I have the battle IQ to really, really capitalize on the things we see. So there are definitely things I can capitalize on, and I will.

“So I’m ready to go where he needs to go. You won’t see me panicking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *