Ahead of their title fight, Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski exchanged a few words leading to Makhachev questioning Volkanovski’s wrestling abilities.

At UFC 284, the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Alexander Volkanovski will attempt to make history by moving up to the Lightweight division and taking on the current champ and the number two ranked pound-for-pound fighter, Islam Makhachev. Despite having all of these accolades and being on a 22 fight win streak, Volkanovski finds himself as the underdog against Makhachev, and the primary reason for that is because of Makhachev’s incredible wrestling ability. A fact that Makhachev made sure to bring up when the two champs sat down with Daniel Cormier.

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“All my opponents say I’m gonna stop his wrestling he not going to take me down but brother Australia doesn’t have wrestling,” Makhachev said. “That’s why I don’t care. Alex, if you are a good wrestler and have a good defense, you can go to the Olympic games from Australia.”

Alexander Volkanovski retorts Islam Makhachev’s wrestling claim: “This is MMA”

Islam Makhachev might have doubts about Volkanovski’s wrestling abilities, but the Featherweight champ doesn’t seem to be bothered. In fact, Volkanovski pointed to his wrestling background, where he was a national champion, but more so to the very real possibility that this fight could end up being a striking battle, once Makhachev is unable to out-grapple him.

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“I was actually the national champion… As you said, this is MMA,” Volkanovski said. “We all know your hope is to try and grab a hold of me and hold me down. And if that doesn’t work, we know how uncomfortable you’re gonna be in there.”

The game plans for either fighter seem to be pretty clear as Makhachev will attempt to assert his dominance through his wrestling and Volkanovski will look to get the better of the Lightweight champion on the feet.

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The winner of the fight will not only hold the 155-pound title, but will also be regarded as the pound-for-pound best in MMA, so the stakes are as high as they can be for the UFC 284 main event. 

I'm 30 years old, residing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I'm currently working towards becoming a fiction writer, while doing some freelance writing work on the side. I've been a MMA fan for a long time and love following and covering the sport.