Islam Makhachev dismisses Alexander Volkanovski’s takedown defense ahead of their fight at UFC 284.
At UFC 284, Volkanovski looks to solidify himself as an MMA legend by becoming a two-division UFC champion. To do so, he must defeat Makhachev, the reigning lightweight champion who’s looked nearly unbeatable recently. Both fighters joined Daniel Cormier for a joint interview, where the Russian had this to say about his opponent’s grappling skills:
“All of my opponents say, ‘I’m gonna stop his wrestling, he not gonna take me down,’ but, brother, Australia don’t have wrestling. That’s why I don’t care. Alex, if you good wrestler and you have good defense, you can go Olympic games from Australia. ”
Volkanovski is currently the number one pound-for-pound fighter, but he’s being somewhat underestimated against Makhachev. The Russian believes ‘The Great’ is too small and lacks the wrestling pedigree to become the lightweight champion. With that said, the reigning featherweight king has faced adversity in the past, emerging victorious every time in the UFC.
Watch Islam Makhachev disrespect Alexander Volkanovski’s wrestling below:
Alexander Volkanovski responds to Islam Makhachev criticizing his grappling skills
Due to the interview featuring both fighters, Alexander Volkanovski was able to respond immediately to Islam Makhachev. Although Daniel Cormier and Makhachev laughed, Volkanovski offered a light chuckle before sending a warning to his UFC 284 opponent. The featherweight world champion had this to say:
“I was actually a national champion… As you said, this is MMA… We all know your hope is to try and grab ahold of me and hold me down. If that doesn’t work in your favor, we all know how uncomfortable you’re gonna be.”
Everyone seemed to be underestimating Volkanovski at first, but some fans and analysts are now picking ‘The Great’ to win. Despite the featherweight champion finally getting his respect, the betting odds think Makhachev could win easily. According to DraftKings, the Russian is currently a -390 betting favorite, with the Australian being a +320 underdog.
UFC 284 goes down on February 11 inside the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. The co-main event will reveal Volkanovski’s next featherweight title challenger, as the interim belt is on the line between Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett. The fight card also features a handful of Australian talent, including Tyson Pedro, Justin Tafa, Jimmy Crute, and more.