American mixed martial arts (MMA) organization UFC has a “super fight” coming up.
UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev (31, Russia) and featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (35, Australia) will headline the UFC 294 main event on April 22 at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The pair will lock fists for the lightweight belt.
It’s the “rematch” of their February meeting. In their first meeting, Makachev won a split decision. Despite being outstruck by Volkanovski, Makachev had the edge in the ground game. At the time, there was some “judging controversy” as some fans chanted for Volkanovski to win.
While the first round was even, the second round was tilted in Makachev’s favor before it even started. Volkanovsky had been called in at the last minute, 11 days before the event. Makachev’s opponent, Charles Oliveira (BRA), pulled out due to injury, and Volkanovski accepted the UFC’s offer. However, the lack of time to prepare for the fight is a major concern.
Former UFC fighter Chan Sung Jung, who has fought Volkanovski, said on his YouTube channel, “I’m 100% sure Makachev will win. Makachev is a southpaw, so I don’t think Volkanovski will be able to land many big punches. I don’t think he’ll be ready in terms of stamina and movement with a week to go.”
Despite the pre-fight hype, the fight speaks for itself. Volkanovski and Makachev are ranked second and third, respectively, in the P4P rankings (which determine who would be the strongest if all fighters were in the same weight class) behind heavyweight champion Jon Jones (USA). This means that even within the UFC, which is home to some of the world’s strongest fighters, he is technically considered “the best. In February, Makachev, ranked No. 2 in the P4P rankings, defeated Volkanovski, ranked No. 1, and the rankings didn’t change.메이저사이트
This time around, the situation is different. Volkanovski, who had less time to prepare for Makachev, will have to fight at a disadvantage in the second round. He’ll also have to overcome the public perception that he’s moving up a weight class to win a lightweight belt, which is a relatively easy fight.
“If the UFC told me to come to Abu Dhabi with the (featherweight) belt in 11 days, (Volkanovski) would have never accepted,” said Makachev, adding, “Without the belt, there’s no risk, which is why he came (to fight me). He’s just here to make money. Everybody knows that,” he said of his opponent.
“People think, ‘This is a no-win situation,’ and I’m tired of being told it’s a no-win situation,” Volkanovski said, “Obviously, my accomplishments are on the line. I’m looking forward to this rematch and I want the lightweight title.”