Alexander Volkanovski weighs in on Khabib Nurmagamedov’s absence from Islam Makhachev’s corner at UFC 284
Islam Makhachev, the current champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight division, is unconcerned that Khabib Nurmagomedov will be absent from his corner at UFC 284. Makhachev’s mentor, Nurmagomedov, has stated that he will be spending much less time this year on the road and in the corners of his fighters. Makhachev will be defending his lightweight championship against Alexander Volkanovski on February 11 at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia, but “The Eagle” will not be there to help him out.
As a heavy underdog, Volkanovski is banking that Nurmagomedov’s absence won’t affect his chances of winning on Saturday night.
The UFC pound-for-pound king recently told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto:
“I mean only because people bringing that up. I’m like don’t use that an excuse when I get my hands raised. That’s the type of guy I am. Now yous are saying all these, just remember that… He’s fought without Khabib. Obviously having him here would have been incredible…But Islam proven that he’s a great fighter. He doesn’t need… It’s gonna be him in there, let’s be real. It ain’t gonna affect him one bit. So don’t use that as an excuse this Sunday.”
Alexander Volkanovski thinks Islam Makhachev is underestimating him
After three and a half years, the UFC returns to Australia for the first time since October 2019. Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski faces Islam Makhachev for lightweight gold in a bid for double-champion status. In the co-main event, Josh Emmett and Yair Rodriguez compete for the interim featherweight title. While previewing the upcoming fight, Volkanovski claimed that he feels Makhachev is looking past him.
Speaking on Israel Adesanya’s YouTube channel, Volkanovski claimed:
“I’m f**king tiny. I’ve always been short. That’s just how it is. Even the featherweights are taller than me. But you can see in his face like, ‘This guy ain’t too big.’ I’ve seen that on plenty of people’s faces. I’ve seen that on my previous fights. My last four, five fights, but that face quickly changes when I’m in the octagon. Give me 10 seconds with him, that face changes real quick.”
Volkanovski, who’s an underdog in the upcoming clash added:
“All of a sudden that size doesn’t matter, all of a sudden my footwork, ‘Where’s this guy at? I’m in a puzzle, he’s already giving drama.’ Then I put my hands on him, there’s another problem. Then they try to grab ahold of me and I’m a little brick f**king wall, there’s another problem. That’s when you see them start to crumble and be like, ‘F***, what have I got myself into?’ That’s exactly what’s going to happen with Islam, especially the way he’s looking. I can tell he really thinks he’s going to be way too strong.”
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