Islam Makhachev successfully defended his lightweight title for the first time against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. He journeyed to Australia, the home country of his challenger, to headline UFC 284.
The two champions put on a spectacular show in the main event in a grueling fight that went the distance. Makhachev ultimately won via unanimous decision, although the contest was incredibly close. The lightweight champion faced the toughest fight of his career and was visibly exhausted compared to his previous outings, where he dominated his opponents with relative ease.
In an interview with TSN Sports’ Aaron Bonsteter, Makhachev spoke about the advantage Volkanovski held due to the lack of weight he had to cut from usual. He said:
“The people expect an easy fight from me. Like how I take him down, smash him there but many things in Australia is different. All fighters wake up early morning, they don’t give us time for recovery, but Volkanovski doesn’t need time for recovery. He doesn’t cut too much weight.”
Islam Makhachev also touched upon the difficulties he faced when he was Down Under and said:
“That’s why I know all things from his side of Australia, weather and weight, I just went to Australia and beat the champion and I don’t care if they give me the place or not. I just have my belt. This is the most important thing for the fighter. Not just cut weight, you have to recover but they don’t give time for the recovery.”
Check out his complete interview with Aaron Bronsteter on Twitter:
Islam Makhachev talks about Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor matchup
Conor McGregor is set to return to action this year and will face off against Michael Chandler. The two fighters will coach opposing teams on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter before squaring off in the finale. This season will also mark McGregor’s second stint as a coach on the show.
Islam Makhachev spoke about the matchup and alleged that Michael Chandler lost fights on purpose so he could secure a big-money fight against Conor McGregor. In an interview with BT Sport, Makhachev said:
“Conor choose Chandler. Chandler lose on purpose because if he beat [a] couple of guys, it’s never gonna happen, you know, versus McGregor… He fight like crazy, like [he] comes from the street. That’s why they make the fight.”
Check out Islam Makhachev’s full comments on YouTube:
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