Coach Javier Mendez doesn’t expect his student Islam Makhachev to run through Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia.
Makhachev achieved a lifelong dream of becoming the undisputed UFC lightweight champion at UFC 280 in October of last year. The 31-year-old submitted Charles Oliveira in the second round to attain the crown his mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov once held.
The Dagestan native is highly touted as the most dominant fighter within the company. However, there’s one man who hovers above him in the pound-for-pound rankings, UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
The pair are set to collide in a champion versus champion super fight in Volkanovski’s backyard, giving Makhachev an opportunity to claim his spot at the top of the pound-for-pound list.
There has been no sign of self-doubt from Volkanvoski, who’s moving up in weight to become a two-weight world champion. The Aussie confidently stated he was unfazed at being taken down from Makhachev due to his belief in his ability to get back to his feet.
Javier Mendez anticipates tough night for Islam Makhachev at UFC 284
Many are under the impression that Makhachev will easily dismantle Volkanovski and get the featherweight champion out of there relatively quickly. Coach Javier Mendez couldn’t disagree more with their opinions and knows his pupil is in for a tough night.
Makhachev hasn’t been training under Mendez’s guidance for this camp, but his coach will be out in Australia with him. Mendez revealed with Helen Yee his thoughts on the upcoming title fight.
“I expect at the end of the day Islam Makhachev is going to be pound for pound the best fighter in the UFC or in the world actually,” he said. “Pound for pound after he beats Alex which I’m expecting him to do but not like people are thinking, like any kind of finish I don’t like that. It’s gonna be a five-round war.”
Mendez understands anything can happen in a pair of 4oz gloves when two highly skilled fighters go head-to-head, but the 52-year-old can’t see any lightweight beating Makhachev, never mind a featherweight.
“In my opinion, there is no one in the lightweight division that’s going to beat Islam outside of what anybody can, you know, anybody can win but on the decision, no one’s going to beat him,” he said.
Quotes via Middle Easy
It’s hard to envision Makhachev going to the judge’s scorecards, considering he’s finished his last five opponents and shows no intention of slowing down. On the other hand, Volkanovski is accustomed to going the distance.
How do you think Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanvoski plays out at UFC 284? Let us know in the comments!