Islam Makhachev blames Alex Volkanovski’s team for KO loss to Ilia Topuria at UFC 298: ‘He returned too soon’

Islam Makhachev claims Alex Volkanovski returned too soon in KO loss to Islam Makhachev

UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev is putting blame on Alexander Volkanovski’s team for the former featherweight champ’s KO loss to Ilia Topuria at UFC 298.

Volkanovski looked to defend his title in February after being knocked out by Islam Makhachev in October on short notice for the lightweight title. Many had thought Volkanovski was returning too soon from the loss to Islam Makhachev, which the Dagestani native thinks was the case as he put blame on the Aussie’s team.

UFC Saudi Arabia postponed until June amid links to Islam Makhachev comeback fight
Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC

Islam Makhachev shares thoughts on Ilia Topuria’s win at UFC 298

“Of course (he returned too soon),” Islam Makhachev told MMA Junkie of Volkanovski. “Alex is a good fighter, he is a warrior, everybody knows. He can fight everyday. But I always said that his team is very bad because this mistake is not Alex’s mistake. It’s a mistake the team made because the team has to sit with him and tell him, ‘Hey, it’s too soon.’”

READ MORE:  Conor McGregor ripped by fellow Irish UFC star after party night in Dublin: 'He's 6 weeks out from a fight blind drunk'

“He had a very bad, tough knockout in his last fight. He has to rest for a minimum of three or four months without training, nothing. You have to do some recovery and just wait. He go to fight again too soon. It was a big mistake. He is a warrior, he can come back, but still, he needs some time. He has to listen to his body and give some time for recovery,” Makhachev added.

Ultimately, Volkanovski did suffer a KO loss to Topuria in the second round to lose his featherweight title.

Ilia Topuria opens as betting favorite to beat Alexander Volkanovski in rematch after UFC 298
Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC

Following his second straight knockout loss, Alexander Volkanovski has vowed to take time off and let his brain heal.

READ MORE:  Dustin Poirier rules out fourth fight with Conor McGregor after UFC 302 return: 'I think that ship has sailed'

Volkanovski is adamant he will get an immediate rematch against Topuria, and the Aussie says the plan is to return in late 2024 as he wants to take a couple of months off and make sure he is 100% as he looks to reclaim his featherweight title.

Alexander Volkanovski backed to make UFC return despite KO loss he has no symptoms

Whether or not the time off will make any difference is to be seen, but Volkanovski has confidence he can reclaim his belt.