Alexander Volkanovski has hinted at a move to lightweight and his coach Eugene Bareman has broken down how he’d do against top lightweights.
Volkanovski is set to defend his featherweight title at UFC 276 as he will face Max Holloway for the third time in an intriguing matchup. Should he win, he has said he would like to try and become a champ-champ. If he does get the chance, he will likely face the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev, if that fight actually happens. For Eugene Bareman, he thinks the Brazilian is the tougher matchup of the two.
Eugene Bareman sees Charles Oliveira as “the more difficult match-up" compared to Islam Makhachev for Alex Volkanovski at 155:
“I just think Oliveira would be a more well-rounded skillset for Volk to deal with.”
— Submission Radio (@SubmissionRadio) June 1, 2022
“Definitely Oliveira’s the more difficult match in my opinion. Again, it just depends. Oliveira has a more well-rounded skillset, so there’s more to deal with,” Bareman said to Submission Radio about Volkanovski. I mean, Islam’s got good stand-up, but that just depends on who you are looking in, I guess. But yeah, I just think Oliveira would be a more well-rounded skill set for Volk to deal with. Whereas Islam, perhaps we could narrow a couple of things down and concentrate on those few things. Which is easier said than done, because just like in much the fashion of Khabib, Islam excels. He may only do one or two aspects of the sport really, really well, but he does them at the highest level. So, that’s the difficulty.”
Before Alexander Volkanovski can even get the chance to fight either Oliveira or Makhachev he will need to defeat Holloway on July 2. Should he do that, he has cleared out the majority of the top division and deserves a crack at becoming a champ-champ. If he gets his wish, his coach believes Makhachev will be the easier fight for him but admits both are tough matchups.
Do you agree with Eugene Bareman that Charles Oliveira is a harder matchup for Alexander Volkanovski than Islam Makhachev?