“I’ve always been smaller than my opponent. Even when I was at featherweight, I was small. But it changes when an opponent faces me in the octagon. You’ll know what I’m talking about in 10 seconds. In the octagon, my size doesn’t matter. .”
‘Pound-for-pound No. 1’ Alexander (35, Australia), who destroyed ‘Korean Zombie’ Jeong Chan-sung, challenges a new history by winning two UFC weight classes at the same time.
Current UFC featherweight champion Volkanovski will face current lightweight champion Islam Makhachev (32, Russia) at UFC 284, a mixed martial arts event held at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia on the 12th (Korean time).
The fight will be held as a lightweight title fight. Champion Makachev fights for his championship belt. Featherweight champion one weight division down, Volkanovski is the nominal challenger. If Volkanovski defeats Makachev, he will become only the fifth fighter of all time to win both weight classes at the same time.
So far, the only fighters in UFC history who have won at least two weight divisions are Randy Couture (Light Heavyweight/Heavyweight), BJ Penn (Lightweight/Welterweight), Conor McGregor (Featherweight/Lightweight), Georges St-Pierre (Welterweight/Middleweight) and Daniel Cormier (Lightweight). Heavyweight/heavyweight), Henry Cejudo (flyweight/bantamweight), and Amanda Nunez (women’s bantamweight/featherweight). Among them, McGregor, Cormier, Cejudo and Nunez held two weight division titles at the same time.
It is no exaggeration to say that Volkanovski has no opponent in the original weight class, featherweight. In July of last year, he beat Max Holloway (USA) by unanimous decision in 3 rounds and continued his 22-game winning streak. In March of last year, he faced Chan-sung Jeong and won by TKO in the 4th round. Outstanding featherweight fighters such as Chan-sung Jeong, Holloway, and Brian Ortega (USA) all took on the challenge, but Volkanovski was ‘over the top’.
He thought that there was nothing more to achieve at featherweight, so he decided to ‘wrestleweight class’, and he decided to challenge the lightweight champion, the upper weight class, while maintaining the featherweight title. He was willing to challenge no matter who the champion was.
In the end, Makachev defeated Charles Oliveira (Brazil) by submission in the second round in the championship match held at UFC 280 last October and became the new champion. As soon as Makhachev won the championship belt, Volkanovski stepped up to the Octagon and announced his intention to challenge. The UFC immediately announced the ‘Champion vs. Champion’ big match. 메이저사이트
Volkanovski is ranked #1 on the Pound For Pound rankings across all weight divisions in the UFC. The second place in this ranking is Makachev. The two fighters who are considered to be the strongest in all weight classes face each other. The UFC expects to break all-time records in ticket revenue and pay TV sales.
Volkanovski leads the pound-for-pound rankings. However, the predictions of real sports bettors are focused on Makachev. Roughly speaking, Makachev’s odds of winning are -400, while Volkanovski’s are +300. -400 means you have to bet $400 to win $100. That means that Makachev’s chances of winning are high. On the other hand, +300 means you can win $300 by betting $100.
Even though he is the strongest fighter who completely dominated the featherweight division, the reason Volkanovski is underestimated is that Makhachev is a strong fighter. Makachev is from the Republic of Dagestan, an autonomous republic within Russia, well known as the birthplace of the world’s strongest wrestlers. Khabib Nurmagomedov, who defeated the UFC’s top star, Conor McGregor, is from here. Makachev learned and trained in wrestling with Nurmagomedov from an early age.
The representative person who predicted Volkanovski’s defeat was Cormier, who first became the UFC champion in two weight divisions. Cormier, who is now a UFC commentator after his retirement, says it’s not easy to overcome his physique. Volkanovski is 167 cm tall, while Makhachev is 178 cm, a difference of 11 cm. Of course, Volkanovski also fought a bigger fighter at featherweight. However, he believes that it will not be easy to overcome Makachev, who boasts strong power even at lightweight.
Cormier said in an interview, “Volkanovski is a perfect body type for Makachev to handle. There is little that he can do against Makachev at that height.”
Other experts predicting Volkanovski’s defeat also point out inferiority in height and physique. At featherweight, he made up for his short stature with explosive power and agility. However, it is difficult to take advantage of the power advantage at lightweight. Besides, Makachev, like Nurmagomedov, boasts superior wrestling skills. The fact that Volkanovski has never faced an extreme fighter like Makachev at featherweight is a disadvantage.
Volkanovski seems to rather enjoy the underdog evaluation he has tasted in a long time. In a recent interview, he said, “Being an underdog means taking on a challenge. I will make those who doubt me shut up.” The ship has become stronger,” he said with confidence.
Rather, the comfort that there is nothing to lose even if he loses is another strength of Volkanovski. “He’ll have a lot more to worry about me than I have to worry about him,” he exclaimed.
Martial arts, in which bodies collide directly with each other, is an extraordinary sport. No matter how different the skills are, anyone can be knocked down with a single lucky punch. Martial arts fans have already seen last year’s absolute powerhouses at welterweight and middleweight, Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya, collapse disastrously. So fans are more excited and excited.
The match is likely to be Makhachev’s wrestling and Volkanovski’s punching fight. If Makhachev catches Volkanovski and knocks him down, the game must end early. However, if Volkanovski can land jab and leg kick, which are his specialties, without collapsing in wrestling, the twist could happen.
Will Volkanovski be able to catch a wrestling monster of a higher weight? Volkanovski’s big challenge to become the greatest fighter in UFC history is not far away.