Israel Adesanya has picked his longtime City Kickboxing (CKB) teammate Alexander Volkanovski to defeat Islam Makhachev in their potential super-fight for the UFC lightweight title. While Volkanovski vs. Makhachev hasn’t been officially announced yet, the matchup has lately become a hot-button topic in MMA.
In the latest edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, ‘Izzy’ was asked whether he had any advice for Alexander Volkanovski, who’ll be moving up in weight for the fight.
UFC middleweight champion Adesanya himself moved up to face then-UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz for the latter’s title in March 2021 and lost via unanimous decision. Adesanya, for his part, has asserted that ‘Volk’ will surely defeat Makhachev:
“He [Volkanovski] has got it. Yeah.”
In regards to those who doubt Volkanovski, ‘The Last Stylebender’ simply labeled them as “stupid.” Additionally, comparing ‘Volk’ to legendary Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Adesanya said:
“Alex is different, bro. And you can ask Jordi even, like, weight cut guy, ‘Jordi Nutrition’ [Jordan Sullivan of ‘The Fight Dietitian’], ‘Fight Dietitian,’ yeah. He’ll tell you he [Volkanovski] is different. The way he’s just able to put it on people with the work he does to even cut weight. He’s a different breed, like, that Michael Phelps type different.”
Watch Adesanya discuss the topic at 3:15:32 in the video below:
Alexander Volkanovski warns Islam Makhachev that calling him “short guy” will backfire when they fight
Reigning UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev will likely face the UFC’s No.1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter and UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski next.
Their highly-anticipated super-fight will have Makhachaev’s lightweight title and Volkanovski’s No.1 pound-for-pound spot at stake. The matchup is expected to transpire at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia, on February 12, 2023.
Prior to Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev’s memorable face-off inside the octagon at UFC 280 last month, the Dagestani fighter had jibed at ‘Volk’ by calling him a “short guy.” Speaking to Submission Radio, Volkanovski opined that perhaps Makhachev was underestimating him. He further indicated that Makhachev’s jibe would backfire.
‘Volk’ feels that Makhachev views him as a small featherweight who’ll fail to handle his strength. Regardless, he warned that he’ll out-strike Makhachev and coerce him to shoot for takedowns. Volkanovski added:
“Then when he tries to grab a hold of me, realizes, ‘Oh sh*t! This man isn’t as weak as I thought,’ struggles to get me down, or even when he does get me down and I start getting back up.”
Watch Volkanovski’s assessment below: