The news is that two of the biggest and the baddest fighters in their respective divisions are about to settle things within the confines of the octagon very soon, i.e., February 12, 2023, at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. “Islam vs Volkanovski – A Potential Clash of the Titans” is a rundown of the major events leading to this super fight.
Let’s proceed having a look at the professional MMA career of both the fighters side-by-side:
Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski Win Streak & Accolades
Islam’s UFC win streak extends to 11, the last coming via arm-triangle submission to Charles Oliveira on UFC 280 at Abu Dhabi, UAE. On the other hand, Alexander Volkanovski boasts a remarkable 12-fight win streak, the last of it as a sheer domination over Max Holloway on UFC 276 held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Dare we say there’s more to both of them than the eye meets? How about glancing through the names of the fighters they are on top of right now? In fact, you may just run through the top 5 names only, and you’ll get an idea of what it’s all about.
Alexander is leading a roster featuring guys like Max Holloway, Yair Rodrigues, Brian Ortega, Josh Emmett, Calvin Kattar, and so forth. Similarly, Islam is currently on top of a list with names as big as Charles Oliveira, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, Beneil Dariush, and Michael Chandler.
Oh, by the way, Alexander Volkanovski also holds the best Pound-for-Pound men’s fighter rank. Interestingly, that’s not all about it. Islam currently has the 3rd position in the same list, with Israel Adesanya capturing the 2nd spot.
Despite not being official, it is almost certain that Islam Makhachev will defend his lightweight belt against Alexander Volkanovski on the UFC 284 card to be held in Perth. After UFC 280, Khabib Nurmagomedov revealed how he thinks his teammate Makhachev will face the featherweight champion and defend the lightweight belt.
The new lightweight champion intends to mark the sport’s history and has set himself a new challenge to achieve it.
Islam Makhachev Eyes the #1 Spot in the Pound for Pound Ranking
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 22, 2022
Present in the main event of UFC 280, Islam Makhachev won by submission against former champion Charles Oliveira, thus ending his opponent’s streak of eleven consecutive victories.
Currently, the champion in one of the organization’s most extensive and competitive categories, the Dagestani does not intend to stop there. Indeed, he has set a new objective: to occupy first place in the pound for pound ranking.
His recent victory saw him jump up the rankings, as he is now in the top 3, just ahead of Kamaru Usman and behind Israel Adesanya, who are in 4th and 2nd place, respectively.
At the top of the ranking is the Australian Alexander Volkanovski, precisely the one whom Makhachev has set out to dethrone.
“I have a new objective,” he announced at a press conference after his fight.
“I need to be #1 in the pound for pound rankings. And that’s why I have to go to Australia, to beat this guy (Volkanovski). I have a big team around me, so it’s an additional asset. We can make the trip to Australia, and we could do a training camp there and prepare for it.”
Declared the new champion, Makhachev is visibly ready to face his opponents on home turf.
Team Eagle’s Plans for Islam vs Volkanovski Clash
After UFC 280, Nurmagomedov spoke with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto and revealed how Makhachev would defeat Volkanovski in his next title fight. Khabib said he is willing to give the Australian fighter time to prepare for the exact moves Islam will make in the Octagon and is still confident that Volkanovski will not be able to stop him.
“Volkanovski? Clinch, lot of knees; he’s gonna eat a lot of knees. He [Makhachev] is gonna take his [Volkanovski’s] all energy, take him down, and he’s gonna choke him out.”
“Of course, Volkanovski can box. He have amazing experience. How many times he defended his title, everything — But, brother, this is like, Thai clinch gonna kill him. Because even if he knows this, let him prepare this. How many months? Five months? Six months? This guy [Makhachev] is doing this 20 years.”
The Great’s Take on the Potential Super Fight
Alexander Volkanovski believes Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev are underestimating the featherweight champion. The king of P4P can’t wait to surprise the world after defeating Makhachev in his upcoming title fight to establish the supremacy of his Greek lineage.
Volkanovski, who Radio Submission recently interviewed, finds it funny that the Dagestani team underestimates the king of pound for pound rankings.
“It’s funny because they think they’re the only guys who fought or something. Like we’re not training wrestling,” Volkanovski said in his interview.
Team Khabib believes Makhachev’s wrestling and grappling skills will be too much for the 145-pound champion.
“Don’t think I’m going to worry about THAT fall. I’m going to train for this takedown. I’m going to put my instincts and reactions on point. But when I’m on my feet, I’m just focusing on landing big,” Volkanovski said.
Concluding Islam vs Volkanovski
So, all of this looks and feels pretty intriguing. And you needn’t worry. RDX will keep you updated if anything interesting happens till the Titans actually clash on UFC 284.