Islam Makhachev complains of ‘Lack of recovery time’ ahead of UFC 284 headliner last month

Islam Makhachev

Islam Makhachev came out on top in his first UFC lightweight championship defense last month.

Capturing the title by submitting one of the promotion’s most prolific finishers last year, Makhachev aimed high for his first title defense. Accepting the challenge of reigning 145-pound king Alexander Volkanovski, the Dagestani destroyer walked into enemy territory at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia. After 25 grueling minutes, he walked out with UFC gold still wrapped around his waist.

The fight not only brought together two world champions for an epic superfight, but it also represented the first time in promotional history that the No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter competed against the No. 2 ranked competitor. Volkanovski held the top spot going into the bout, but many expected him to surrender it to Makhachev after coming up short in his bid to become a two-division titleholder. However, that was not the case as ‘The Great’ maintained his No. 1 ranking, much to the chagrin of Islam Makhachev.

“The people expect an easy fight from me,” Makhachev told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. “Like how I take him down, smash him there, but many things in Australia is different. All fighters wake up early morning, they don’t give us time for recovery, but Volkanovski doesn’t need time for recovery. He doesn’t cut too much weight. That’s why I know all things from his side of Australia, weather and weight, I just went to Australia and beat the champion and I don’t care if they give me the place or not. I just have my belt.

“This is most important things for the fighter. Not just cut weight, you have to recover, but they don’t give time for the recovery.”

Makhachev’s comments regarding recovery time come amidst accusations that he had hired a nurse to administer an IV to aid in his recovery following the UFC 284 weigh-ins. Volkanovski’s City Kickboxing teammate Dan Hooker made the initial allegation on Twitter shortly after the event. Makhachev has vehemently denied the claim and has called for ‘The Hangman’ to face consequences for his statement.

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While IV usage is not expressly prohibited, the USADA rules stipulate that intravenous infusions and injections are prohibited both in-competition and out-of-competition if the volume of the substance exceeds 100 milliliters within a 12-hour period.

Islam Makhachev Hopes to Fight Beneil Dariush Later This Year

Despite walking out of RAC Arena with a unanimous decision victory, many fans and fighters believe Islam Makhachev should have lost his title that evening. The close nature of the contest has left both men open to a potential rematch.

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“I just showed who’s the best in the world,” Makhachev said. “It was good experience for me. If a lot of people want to see the rematch then let’s do this. Why not? Let’s go. I am ready.”

Before they can sign on the dotted line for a rematch, the two warriors may need to address rising contenders in their respective divisions. Specifically, Alexander Volkanovski who has an interim featherweight champion to settle up with. Though a rematch between the two feels inevitable, Makhachev already has his next opponent in mind, should Makhachev vs. Volkanovski II end up on the back burner.

“I hope Beniel [Dariush] beats [Charles] Oliveira,” Makhachev revealed. “We gonna make some good fight because this guy is tough because he have good skills and it’s gonna be a huge fight for the fans. I prepared for this fight a couple years ago. He beat a good opponent (Mateusz Gamrot) in his last fight. That’s why I think if he beat Charles he’s gonna deserve [the shot].”

Currently ranked No. 4 in the division, Beneil Dariush is primed for his first UFC title opportunity. Riding an eight-fight win streak, Dariush is expected to step into the Octagon at UFC 288 on May 6 for a high-stakes matchup with former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, the winner likely securing an opportunity to challenge Islam Makhachev for the 155-pound crown.

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Transcription courtesy of MMA Fighting