Alexander Volkanovski is poised to enter the UFC's lightweight division with a bout against lightweight champion Islam Makhachev at UFC 284.
The match is set to take place on February 11, 2023, at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. The reigning featherweight champion will be making his debut in the lightweight class.
Alexander Volkanovski's coach recently shared details of their preparations for the upcoming title fight against Makhachev. The coach noted that Volkanovski is not concerned about Makhachev's wrestling skills, as they anticipate takedowns, but also expect that their opponent will not be able to keep 'The Great' on the ground for long.
Their strategy for the fight is similar to what they did against Chad Mendes in UFC 232:
"Well, we expect to be taken down. yeah, 100%. We are not worried of being taken down. We expect to be taken down. It's just whether Islam can hold us down. That is the key, you know. We're not going there thinking it's a bad thing. I mean it comes back to, you know, the Chad Mendes fight, you know. Everyone was saying, you know, he is not going to have Chad Mendes's wrestling and everything else and we went with the same mindset, Chad is going to get us down but he's not going to hold us down and that's exactly what happened."
Check out Alexander Volkannovsi's coach discuss the upcoming title fight below at [32:44 mark]:
Alexander Volkanovski warns Islam Makhachev to not underestimate him due to shorter height
Appearing in a recent interview on Israel Adesanya’s YouTube channel, Volkanovski discussed his first encounter with Islam Makhachev and revealed that he’s being somewhat overlooked because of the size difference between him and the Dagestani.
However, the Kiwi fighter is confident that he will be able to finish his opponent in well under ten seconds.
Speaking on the matter, 'The Great' said:
“I’ve always been short. That’s how it is. Even the featherweights are taller than me, but you could even see in his face looking like, this guy, I’m too big. I’ve seen that on plenty of peoples’ faces. I’ve seen that in a lot of my previous fights… That face quickly changes as soon as I’m in front of them in the Octagon. Give me ten seconds with him. That face changes real quick.”
Check out Alexander Volkanovski's interview in the video below: