Alex Volkanovski is oozing confidence ahead of the Islam Makhachev title fight at UFC 284.
UFC 284 takes place on February 12th, 2023, at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.
The much anticipated main event lightweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski (25-1 MMA) and Islam Makhachev (23-1 MMA) will see ‘The Great‘ perform in his home country.
Should Volkanovski defeat Makhachev, he would capture the UFC lightweight title and earn champ-champ status.
Alex Volkanovski, speaking on Michael Bisping’s ‘Believe You Me’ podcast, shared his excitement about the upcoming fight (h/t MMAFighting):
“No disrespect to them, but that’s why this fight is so big to me. It’s the Dagestani wrestling, no one can figure this out, they’re on a roll and all that. Khabib’s there. Islam, what he’s been doing his last few fights. All that. I was chasing the champ-champ, that’s what motivated me before I knew who I was fighting. As soon as Islam won and the people talked, something was just like, bang, that’s all that I cared about is taking out Islam.”
Islam Makhachev is a longtime teammate and friend of UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0 MMA) who retired in 2021.
Continuing, Alex Volkanovski said:
“It wasn’t even disrespect. All that stuff just made this fight so much bigger. Me accomplishing this goal — not only the champ-champ, it’s obviously going to be incredible, having two belts — but not just that. It’s, while doing that, taking out someone like Islam. Especially being a featherweight going to move up to lightweight, then fighting not only any lightweight, you’re going to Dagestani-wrestling Islam who’s known to just walk and control and throw around all these lightweights. ‘How’s Alex going to deal with that?’”
“This just makes when I get my hand raised, it just makes it so much bigger. So that’s what’s motivating me right now, the fight itself. It’s going to be extra special getting both belts on them shoulders, but (also) who I’m taking out in the process.”
Speaking about preparing for the match-up Volkanovski continued:
“Do I think this is going to be easy? No. Does it need a lot of preparation? Yeah, it does, definitely. It is a challenge. But just because it’s a challenge, should I protect my record, protect this pound-for-pound spot, do all this? Nah.”
“Take it on. It’s going to make you a better fighter, and honestly, I’ve still got under eight weeks left and I’m already twice the fighter I was, just because of how I’m taking this fight. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.”
Concluding, Alex Volkanovski spoke about his excitement concerning the challenge of facing Islam:
Pound-for-pound and all that, it’s really good, champ-champ. But I was really chasing him because you knock off your goals, what’s next, what’s next, the champ-champ’s next, but as soon as it was Islam and people telling me – I love people doubting me.”
“Seeing people, like, ‘He’s going to be too big, too strong,’ and all this. The challenge, the opponent that I’ve got, that excites me more. Going for this champ-champ and taking out someone like Islam is really what people are going to remember. A lot of people think he’s unstoppable right now, but I’m going to show you that he is stoppable and I can’t wait to go out there and do my thing.”
Will you be watching the Australian take on the Russian at UFC 284? Who do you think will capture the lightweight title?
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