Alexander Volkanovski reject the claim about no Khabib Nurmagomedov after his UFC 284 victory

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Alexander Volkanovski

Alexander Volkanovski was a long-standing betting underdog. Since joining the UFC in 2016, the reigning UFC featherweight champion is one of the strongest forces in MMA. He has a 12-0 record, four defenses of his 145-pound title belt and was named the UFC’s No.

He is the #1 pound-for-pound fighter of the sport. He’s been the favorite to win for most of the time. Volkanovski will be lifting up to 155 lbs to face Islam Makhachev, UFC lightweight champion, in the main event at UFC 284.

Volkanovski was a huge betting underdog for Makhachev when he opened and he remains so, with the fight just two weeks away. It’s safe to assume that he is enjoying all his newfound skeptics.

“It’s a good thing”. Volkanovski stated that he was all right with it on The MMA Hour. “Especially moving up, the lightweight title, all that stuff, and then fighting someone similar — again, this is for legacy. This is something I have never done before. You may recall that I didn’t talk about legacy fights or any of this stuff. But now, I love it. I now support big fights. I love the story of the underdog. I love being the underdog, people calling me undersized, and all that stuff. It adds to the story, and it will add to the win.

“There will be many people that are going doubt me, which is great, because he’s too good in Dagestani wrestling’, and all this stuff. That’s good. Keep that in mind. This is important. When I raise my hand, don’t change the story. This is something I need people understand. It’s funny, people will just sit there and tell all the same stuff. If anything happens and I win, you will be able to say “Oh yeah, Makhachev didn’t fight anyone.” They took away his victory and pretend that he’s not the same person they claimed he was before the fight.

“Remember what you are saying that he is now. You are putting him on the pedestal — keep him there, even if you raise your hand. Don’t let that bull ***.” get away.

If he wins UFC 284, Volkanovski (34), will be the fifth consecutive two-division champion in UFC History. He joins the ranks of Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo. If the Makhachev fight goes his direction, he has made repeated statements about his intention to keep both titles and defend his throne in each division.

His ambitions are high-minded, and Volkanovski does not want to hear revisionist history about Makhachev if it is what he sets out to do.

This includes excuses about Makhachev not being there for UFC 284. Volkanovski stated that he was surprised at the beginning, but that it doesn’t matter because Islam will still turn up. “I know people who push narratives and that kind of stuff. Islam is a great fighter at the end of it all.

He is the one who goes in there and does his work. Khabib will be able to tell you this. If you raise your hand, please don’t complain. These are just excuses. Khabib has been in his corner many times.

He’s an experienced fighter who has done it before. He will show up at the octagon regardless of whether Khabib is present. So I am preparing for the same Islam I have seen. And again, if they go as I expect them to, don’t change your narratives or use all the excuses. It’s the guy in front that is the problem.

Makhachev is MMA Fighting’s No. Makhachev is MMA Fighting’s No. 2 ranked fighter pound-for-pound in the world. Over the past six years, the 31-year old has dominated every lightweight opponent in his path, racking up 11 consecutive wins over the likes Arman Tsarukyan and Dan Hooker.

Drew Dober is also a regular winner. Makhachev’s title victory over Oliveira was especially eye-opening. It was an eight-minute battle that saw him dominate and submit the UFC’s all-time leader in submissions.

Volkanovski stated, “Obviously we know what the benefits are for me and what the advantages [are] for him,” Volkanovski added. It’s very simple. “He wants it on ground, I want it on my feet. People will be saying, “Oh, his striking is overrated,” but it is. When you look at his combos and all that stuff it isn’t the most beautiful. But he’s still very calculative. He won’t take unnecessary risks. He won’t put himself in a dangerous position most of the time. He might strike when he feels like it, but most of the time he is a bit defensive and will wait until the right moment to shoot.

“So he’s calculated. The same as Khabib and many of these Dagestani wrestlers, and these high-level grapplers. That’s great.

Volkanovski said, “But at the exact same time, you have to remember my striking.” All these things I understand. Although I cannot give away too much, you could do all of these things. I know what you want. I know the patterns. I understand the game. I do. I understand my style, I understand your style. I have a great team. We have the knowledge and not only that, but I also have the fight intelligence to capitalize on the things we see. There are certain things I can capitalize on and I will.

So I’m ready to go wherever it takes me. I won’t panic.

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