Arrogant or stocky? Islam Makhachev warned not to underestimate Alex Volkanovski at UFC Perth

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Confident… or arrogant?

New lightweight champion Islam Makhachev had the opportunity to cross paths with featherweight titleholder Alex Volkanovski before and after last month’s UFC 280 pay-per-view (PPV) event in Abu Dhabi.

The recognition report? “He’s a little guy.”

That’s why Makhachev and his head trainer, former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, are gearing up for victory when the promotion books the Makhachev-Volkanovski “field-to-field” fight for the UFC 284 PPV card. in Perth.

A tactical error, according to New Zealand neighbor Dan Hooker.

“For Islam to turn around very quickly and call Alexander Volkanovski, which I feel like they’re doing because obviously it’s a chance at number one pound for pound, but I feel like that they’re kind of looking down and being like, oh man, we’re gonna grab this featherweight real quick,” Hooker told Submission Radio. “But they’re really in a lot of trouble. man incredibly hard to hold down. Like, he keeps saying he’s short and stuff like that, but holding him down, holding down such a stocky guy down is incredibly difficult. So, I have looks like he’s going to have an incredibly tough test with Alex Volkanovski in Perth.

The UFC is expected to make the fight official in the coming weeks.

The fight would be contested at 155 pounds, which means Makhachev bears all the risk. He is expected to beat the smaller opponent regardless of skill (see this recent example), but a loss would spell disaster for his legacy.

Especially considering it’s only been a few weeks old.

“Volkanovski can box, he has incredible experience,” Nurmagomedov said. “How many times has he defended his title, everything? But my brother, it’s like… Thai clinch is gonna kill him. Even if he knows it, let him prepare it. How many months, five months, six months? This guy [Islam] do this 20 years. Let him prepare it: clinch, wrestling, freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman, grappling, Thai clinch, left hand.

UFC 284 is scheduled for February 12, 2023 at the RAC Arena in Perth.

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