UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski believes he’s a bad matchup for Zabit Magomedsharipov.
Volkanovski is set to take on Brian Ortega in the coming months in what will be his first non-Max Holloway fight since May 2019. Should he come out on top as he expects to do so, “The Great” is only looking towards the next contender as he aims to clean out the division.
That would involve a potential meeting with Magomedsharipov who remains undefeated in the UFC. The Dagestan native is known for flashy acrobatics and dazzling kickboxing, but that also leads to him gassing out toward the end of his fights.
That’s something which won’t do him so good when he faces Volkanovski, who is known for the overwhelming pressure he puts on his opponents.
“People are going to say… if it’s a five round fight, he’s got to work on his cardio, and all this stuff. But you’ve got to be realistic with it,” Volkanovski said in a recent interview (via Middle Easy). “He is a very explosive dude, especially for his height. He really takes advantage of whatever opportunity comes in front of him. He’s always going, and he goes hard.
“That’s why it’s exciting as well. He like his flashy stuff and all that type of stuff, his takedowns and all that, but you tend to see him wear out later in the rounds, and you’ve seen that in his last three or four fights. So I would be silly to say that grinding him down wasn’t an option. He is a complete fighter, he is a very well rounded fighter, but at the same time when it comes to gas tanks, he has shown that he tends to fade in fights.
“There’s no better man to break someone than me, I believe. When it comes to pressure and really getting people worried about what I’m doing and breaking them, no one does it better than me. I believe that I’m a terrible matchup for him, but at the same time I respect everyone in my division. He’s a great fighter, but I see my success when it comes down to cardio and endurance and that type of stuff.”
A title fight with Volkanovski would also be the first time Magomedsharipov would be competing in a five-rounder in the UFC.
That’s if he doesn’t fight a main event before getting a potential title shot as UFC president Dana White is targeting for him to make his first appearance since November 2019 in the next three months.
Regardless, do you agree that Volkanovski is a bad matchup for Magomedsharipov?