Alexander Volkanovski is gearing up for his lightweight title fight against Islam Makhachev, and he’s making it clear that he’s not taking the challenge lightly.
In a recent interview, “The Great” stressed the importance of being prepared for the possibility of being taken down, vowing to remain composed and not panic should the fight end up on the floor.
“A lot of people just prevent getting there [on the ground],” Volkanovski told UFC Hall of Famer and former middleweight champion Michael Bisping during a recent episode of Believe You Me (h/t Drake Riggs). “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.”
Despite the formidable reputation of his opponent, Volkanovski is looking forward to rising to the occasion and proving that Makhachev, who many believe is unstoppable, can be defeated.
“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,” Volkanovski said. “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.”
UFC 284: Makhachev vs. Volkanovski is scheduled to take place on Feb. 12 at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.