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Dan Hooker says Islam Makhachev ‘in for a whole lot of trouble’ against Alexander Volkanovski

Is Islam Makhachev underestimating Alexander Volkanovski?

If newly-crowned UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev thinks Alexander Volkanovski will be an easy fight, he can think again.

That’s according to New Zealand’s Dan Hooker, who thinks Makhachev might be overlooking City Kickboxing’s Volkanovski ahead of their proposed champ vs. champ super-fight to determine the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Volkanovski might be moving up a weight class, but Hooker assured the reigning featherweight king will be able to match Makhachev in strength and hold his own in the grappling department due to him being the shorter, stockier fighter.

“For Islam to turn around very quickly and to call out Alexander Volkanovski, who I feel like they’re doing it because obviously it’s a chance at the No. 1 pound-for-pound (spot), but I feel they’re kind of looking down and being like, ‘Oh man, we’ll go snatch up this featherweight real quick,” Hooker, who was submitted by Makhachev at UFC 267, told Submission Radio in a recent interview.

“But they’re really in for a whole lot of trouble. That’s an incredibly difficult man to hold on the ground. Like, he keeps saying he’s short and stuff like that, but holding him on the ground, holding a guy that’s that stocky on the ground is incredibly difficult. So I feel like he’s in for an incredibly tough test in Alex Volkanovski in Perth.”

Makhachev invited Volkanovski to the cage for a face-off following his submission win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 in the hopes of setting up a lightweight title fight at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia. Both men are thought to be in negotiations for the matchup, but the UFC has yet to make it official.