Thursday, December 8, 2022

Khabib States If Volkanovski Is Harder Fight For Makhachev Than Oliveira

Khabib Nurmagomedov and the rest of Islam Makhachev‘s team have another tough test on their hands in Alexander Volkanovski.

Makhachev earned the UFC lightweight title by defeating Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 last month. He submitted Oliveira in Round 1 to complete a remarkable run in the division.

Makhachev will now face Volkanovski in a champion vs. champion super fight at UFC 284 in Perth, AU. The fight is the latest champion vs. champion matchup in UFC history and the first since Israel Adesanya faced Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259.

Nurmagomedov faced some of the toughest lightweights in the history of the UFC during his title reign, including Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. While he’s retired from fighting, he’s kept a close eye on the sport and potential future opponents for Makhachev.

Makhachev earning the vacant title was tough in itself, though Nurmagomedov feels the toughest test is yet to come.

Khabib Explains Why Alexander Volkanovski Is Tougher Test For Islam Makhachev

During a recent sit-down interview, Nurmagomedov compared Makhachev’s matchups with Volkanovski and Oliveira.

“I told Islam, even before the last fight…Volkanovski is going to be tougher than Charles Oliveira,” Nurmagomedov said. “He has good experience. Charles and Volkanovski have the same experience…but if you talk about fighting IQ and big heart, I think Volkanovski is better than him. I think Volkanovski is going to be a tougher opponent for Islam than Charles Oliveira. But who cares? We’re gonna finish this guy.”

Volkanovski is the UFC’s pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter after recent featherweight title defenses against Max Holloway and The Korean Zombie. His spot is on the line against Makhachev, who sits at No. 2 in the pound-for-pound rankings.

Makhachev respects Volkanovski’s accomplishments but has mocked the featherweight champion’s small stature. He’ll have a significant size advantage over the 5’6″ Volkanovski.

The anticipation for February’s UFC 284 card is profound, and Nurmagomedov’s admission points to a potentially competitive fight between Makhachev and Volkanovski.

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