UFC Champion Alexander Volkanovski Eyes Risk and Reward in Swift Rematch with Islam Makhachev
Alexander Volkanovski, the reigning UFC featherweight champion, is gearing up for a high-stakes rematch against lightweight champion Islam Makhachev at UFC 294, despite the minimal 11-day notice. The decision, laden with potential repercussions, underscores Volkanovski’s daring approach and his unwavering eye on a second title.
In a recent discussion on The MMA Hour, Volkanovski expressed,
“There’s still a lot of people acting like there’s nothing to lose for me. You hear people that will say that, and I mean, that’s a lie.”
The champion’s candidness reveals the weight of the upcoming fight, acknowledging that a loss could derail his aspirations for another title shot.
Reflecting on the challenges, Volkanovski emphasizes his readiness and the broader implications of the fight.
“Everyone knows I want this rematch, I want this belt,”
he affirmed, acknowledging the long road back to contention if he doesn’t emerge victorious.
Yet, it’s not just about the risk for Volkanovski. He highlights the shared pressure, considering Makhachev’s own aspirations and the intensified stakes due to the shortened prep time. He rationalizes the situation,
“What if this is my only opportunity?”
indicating his willingness to seize the moment despite the risks.
Further, Volkanovski speaks to the personal benefits of a shorter camp, noting the mental and physical toll of traditional preparations. He feels his sustained fitness levels and a fresher mindset entering this fight could be pivotal.
“Can I do five rounds? Yeah, I think I can… But what I do have time for is to prepare for what I believe is going to happen,”
he asserts, hinting at a strategy poised more towards offense.
As UFC 294 approaches, Volkanovski’s determination is palpable. He visualizes not just a win, but a decisive finish against Makhachev, erasing doubts from their previous encounter. With a statement like,
“I think you’re gonna see probably one of the most dangerous Volkanovskis you’ve ever seen,”
he projects confidence in a victory that could redefine his legacy. Regardless of the outcome, Volkanovski’s gamble underscores his place in the sport – daring, unyielding, and always eyeing greatness.