‘He showed so much improvement’

Joe Rogan was thoroughly impressed by the incredible performance of Islam Makhachev at UFC 294.

At the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, lightweight champion Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) dominated his title-fight rematch against Alexander Volkanovski (26-3 MMA, 13-2 UFC) this past Saturday.

Rogan was left in awe as Makhachev knocked out Volkanovski with a powerful first-round head kick.

“Oh my God! He head kicked him,” exclaimed Rogan during his “JRE Fight Companion.” “Wow! What a shocker. It was amazing. Shin to the dome, opened up a cut – it was perfect. Islam, man. He showcased some amazing new techniques. That front kick, and he was throwing that kick to the body, and then he threw the same kick to the head.”

Makhachev’s grappling skills secured him victory in his first fight against Volkanovski at UFC 284. However, in their title-fight rematch, Makhachev displayed significant improvement in his striking game.

“I’m just so impressed that he won that way,” Rogan stated. “He showed so much improvement. He really made adjustments even when he wasn’t originally fighting Volkanovski. They must have trained for Volkanovski again, discussing all the different moves and counters. The way he shut down Volkanovski’s kicks and set up that head kick was impressive.”

Prior to his victories over Volkanovski, Makhachev showcased his striking abilities by knocking down Charles Oliveira in their bout at UFC 280 and then submitting him in Round 2 to claim the vacant belt.

“He knocked down Oliveira in the last fight – remember, his striking was his weakest point,” Rogan recalled. “Now it’s as dangerous as anybody in the division. You knock out Volkanovski? That’s impressive.”

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie


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