Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz believes Islam Makhachev will walk away with a win and the No. 1 pound-for-pound ranking on Saturday night.
After shocking the world with a second-round submission of Charles Oliveira in October, Islam Makhachev will defend his 155-pound title for the first time against the promotion’s reigning featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski. If that weren’t challenging enough, Makhachev will do so in Volkanovski’s home country as the UFC heads to Australia for the first time in more than three years. Ahead of the highly anticipated superfight, Blachowicz spoke with James Lynch in a LowKick MMA exclusive to share his prediction for this weekend’s main event clash.
“We will see, but I think Islam will take him down and control the fight on the ground and finish Volkanovski maybe before time, but he’s the top of top fighters so we will see,” Blachowicz said. “But if I had put my money, I would put for Islam. I think his wrestling is just unbelievable he’s gonna use it. Take him down, control him on the ground. Maybe submission. We will see.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Absence Will Not Be an Issue for Islam Makhachev
Asked if the absence of UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov in Islam Makhachev’s corner will make a difference, ‘Polish Power’ believes that the two have likely stayed in close contact throughout Makhachev’s preparations and will be there in spirit on Saturday night.
“I think they’ve [been] in contact. He called to him, say what he has to do. He will support him. Maybe not officially, but unofficial for sure, and mentally he will be in his corner so I don’t think that will change anything.”
Both fighters will walk into the UFC 284 main event with impressive win streaks. Islam Makhachev has scored 11 straight victories, seven coming by way of finish. On the flip side, Alexander Volkanovski goes into the champion vs. champion superfight with an incredible 22-fight win streak including wins over Jose Aldo, Brian Ortega, The Korean Zombie, and Max Holloway on three separate occasions.