UFC featherweight champion, Alex Volkanovski, is set to take on lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev, in a highly anticipated rematch at UFC 294. Despite being considered an underdog (+235), Volkanovski eagerly accepted the fight on just 11 days’ notice. While acknowledging that his cardio won’t be at its best due to the short preparation time, Volkanovski firmly believes he will not only win but also knock out Makhachev.
Volkanovski’s decision to accept this fight reflects his desire to create a lasting legacy in the sport. He aims to join the elite group of fighters who have held two titles simultaneously in the UFC, such as Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes, and Henry Cejudo. For Volkanovski, it’s about more than just the money; it’s about being remembered as one of the best in the sport.
Makhachev is known for his exceptional wrestling skills, earning him the reputation of an Olympic-level wrestler. Volkanovski, having spent 25 minutes in the cage with him previously, can vouch for Makhachev’s skills. Despite this, he believes that people have underestimated his own abilities and that Makhachev’s strength may have been overemphasized. Volkanovski commends Makhachev’s technique but believes that his own performance showcased another side of him that people hadn’t seen before.
If Volkanovski emerges victorious, he anticipates a potential trilogy bout with Makhachev to settle the score. However, he questions whether fans or the UFC would be interested in a rematch if he wins decisively, as many already consider him the rightful winner of their previous encounter. Volkanovski remains open to any fight the UFC proposes, including a potential featherweight title defense against Ilia Topuria.
Ultimately, Volkanovski’s main goal is to captivate and entertain fans by participating in exciting and memorable fights. His ambition is for his picture to hang on people’s walls, signifying his lasting impact on the sport.
Sarah Foster is your guide to the world of Mixed Martial Arts. With a deep understanding of MMA’s intricacies and a passion for the sport, she offers comprehensive coverage of MMA events, fighter profiles, and in-depth analysis of fights. Sarah’s commitment to the octagon ensures that readers stay engaged with the latest developments in the MMA world.