Alexander Volkanovski Expects Islam Makhachev To Take Him Down But Vows Not To Panic

UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volanovski doesn’t expect everything to go his own way when he challenges newly crowned lightweight champion Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 in February, and in fact he’s admitted that there’s a good chance the wrestling ace will take him down at some stage in the fight.

“A lot of people just prevent getting there [on the ground],” Volkanovski told Michael Bisping on his podcast. “But if the fight doesn’t go there, that’s a bonus.

“There’s a good chance he [Makhachev] might get the takedown, he might get a nice trip, whatever it is. I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t, I’m working everything right now. But if it does, I guarantee you this; I’m gonna be composed, I’m gonna be calm and I’m gonna be fighting my ass off to get back to my feet and I will not panic.”

The fact that Volkanovski is the naturally smaller man and is moving up a weight class has reinforced Volkanovski’s underdog status in this fight, but for him that’s part of the excitement and motivation surrounding his decision to move up from the division he’s dominated for the past few years.

“As soon as it was Islam and people telling me that — you know, I love people doubting me — saying, ‘Ah, yeah, he’s gonna be too big, too strong,’ and all this. This challenge, the opponent that I’ve got, that excites me more.

“I think going for this champ-champ and taking out someone like Islam is really what people are going to sort of remember. Again, a lot of people think he’s unstoppable right now, but I’m gonna show you that he is stoppable. I can’t wait to go out there and do my thing.”

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.