Joe Rogan has a couple of questions about the upcoming fight between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski.
For the first defense of his UFC lightweight championship, Makhachev shares the Octagon with Volkanovski at UFC 284, the pay-per-view scheduled for Feb. 11 at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. The UFC featherweight champion moves up from 145 pounds to 155 pounds, a weight class he fought in once in his UFC career.
The first question about Makhachev vs. Volkanovski that Rogan has is about the size difference. During a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience with UFC bantamweight Sean O’Malley, the UFC color commentator was curious as to how the ‘Great’ would adjust to the added weight against Makhachev.
“Do you think he’s big enough to compete against a guy like Islam, who’s a really big ’55?,” said Rogan. “Islam is big. I don’t know what he’s cutting, but he’s got the perfect physique for that weight class. He’s very, very lean. He makes the weight, and he’s obviously way bigger when he’s competing. He doesn’t look anything like a ’55-pound guy.
“The thing is the grappling,” continued Rogan. “If you look at Volkanovski, he’s got real good takedown defense. [He] can take guys down. He took Max Holloway down a bunch, but he’s not the biggest guy, even at ’45.”
Though Makhachev appears to have an advantage over Volkanovski in weight, Rogan sees him at a disadvantage in speed.
“Has Islam seen anybody that can move as fast as Volkanovski?,” said Rogan. “What if he starts catching him? What if he catches him a few times on the feet, and if he can avoid a takedown? You’re dealing with a significantly quicker guy, probably. [Makhachev has] probably never fought anybody that quick.”