Alexander Volkanovski can’t show Islam Makhachev respect in octagon at UFC 294

ABU DHABI – Alexander Volkanovski‘s coach doesn’t anticipate significant technical adjustments heading into the UFC 294 rematch against Islam Makhachev, but he does notice a significant difference in attitude.

Frank Hickman, who has been collaborating with Volkanovski (26-2 MMA, 13-1 UFC), states that the UFC featherweight champion will abandon all the respect he has for Makhachev (24-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC) as soon as he steps foot in the octagon. This highly anticipated main event of UFC 294, is scheduled for this Saturday at Etihad Arena.

“There’s respect, but there’s also a lack of respect,” admitted Hickman to MMA Junkie. “By saying that, I mean it in the most respectful way. You can’t enter a fight like this and have that level of respect for your opponent. Of course, you shake hands, and it’s all love after the fight. But during that time, you have to be greedy, and you have to be selfish, and that’s exactly what Alex plans to do.”

Volkanovski accepted the rematch against Makhachev with just 10 days’ notice after stepping in for an injured Charles Oliveira.

Hickman recognizes that these circumstances are not ideal for facing a great champion like Makhachev, but he believes they are precisely the situations where Volkanovski shines.

“As Alex stated, you only get one chance to be great,” Hickman said. “This could very well be the current biggest rivalry in combat sports. It’s truly an exciting prospect. Both fighters are at the top of their game and their respective weight divisions. They have set themselves apart from the rest. It’s one thing to be at the top, but they have taken it further with their exceptional skills and conduct. It’s phenomenal for the sport.”

“We’re really looking forward to this because, once again, we have the opportunity to prove the doubters wrong. Just like last time, the odds are stacked against us, and that’s when Volk delivers his best work. We’re all filled with excitement.”

For more information about the event, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie


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