Javier Mendez gives surprise prediction for Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284

Islam Makhachev is set to defend his UFC lightweight title against fellow champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284 next month. The 145-pound king will be moving up a weight division to challenge Makhachev in a clash between the top two pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC.

Makhachev is currently a -330 favorite, and his obvious size advantage and perceived-to-be superior grappling ability pose serious problems for ‘The Great’. However, the Dagestani’s coach, Javier Mendez, believes that it won’t be easy to finish Volkanovski, even if Makhachev successfully takes him down.

During a recent interview with Submission Radio, Mendez broke down the dangers that the featherweight champion presents. Mendez also noted that despite the height difference, the overall size of the two athletes is relatively similar:

“[Volkanovski] is good everywhere. Obviously, the ground, we know we’re superior there. But he is not so easy to take down, and he’s not so easy to submit. So he is a trouble there, not necessarily a huge problem [on the ground]. But can we finish him there? I don’t know. He’s super strong, I saw when he came to face off with Islam. I saw a pretty big guy, I didn’t see Islam dwarfing him other than height-wise.”

Alexander Volkanovski displayed exactly how tough he is to submit when he took on Brian Ortega at UFC 266. Ortega, who has one of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu games in the UFC, sunk in a fully locked-up guillotine choke on ‘The Great’ during round three. But Volkanovski miraculously escaped when he seemed bound to tap, showing true heart and grit.

The Aussie may carry confidence in his ability to defend submissions from the Ortega fight. However, Islam Makhachev’s submission victory over Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 would undoubtedly have made an impression on him too. ‘Do Bronx’ is also known for his BJJ prowess and has recorded the most submissions in UFC history.

Makhachev dropped Oliviera in round two before swiftly passing the Brazilian’s guard and securing a tight arm-triangle choke.

Watch the interview below:

Dan Hooker applauds Islam Makhachev for taking the Volkanovski fight in Australia

Islam Makhachev will face Alexander Volkanovski in the featherweight’s home country of Australia at UFC 284. That decision has been applauded by Volkanovski’s City Kickboxing teammate and UFC lightweight Dan Hooker.

Hooker was recently interviewed by David Adesanya, brother of Israel Adesanya, during which ‘The Hangman’ said the following:

“The biggest hestitation that he wouldn’t be an active champion. But for him to get straight on the microphone and call for another fight, and be willing to fly a very long distance. They don’t usually take those risks. I tip my hat to Islam Makhachev.”

Watch the interview below:

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