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Volkanovski’s coach explains why Oliveira is a ‘more difficult match-up’ than Makhachev

City Kickboxing co-founder and Alex Volkanovski’s coach Eugene Bareman answers the ongoing discussion involving Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira.

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There’s been an ongoing discussion about former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, and potential title challenger Islam Makhachev. And depending on which fighter you ask, there is a biased answer on who would give the other more trouble when they do fight.

But Submission Radio recently got an answer from an outside perspective. City Kickboxing founder and Alexander Volkanovski’s head coach Eugene Bareman says “Do Bronx” would be a tougher match-up for one of his star pupils in a potential fight, and he explained why.

“Definitely Oliveira’s the more difficult match-up in my opinion. Again, it just depends,” he said. “Oliveira has a more well-rounded skillset, so there’s more to deal with. I mean, Islam’s got good stand-up, but that just depends on who you are looking in, I guess. But yeah, I just think Oliveira would be a more well-rounded skill set for Volk to deal with.

“Whereas Islam, perhaps we could narrow a couple of things down and concentrate on those few things. Which is easier said than done, because just like in much the fashion of Khabib, Islam excels. He may only do one or two aspects of the sport really, really well, but he does them at the highest level. So, that’s the difficulty.”

Volkanovski recently brought up the idea of potentially moving up to 155 pounds, and Bareman is liking the champ’s chances.

“Every single person, doesn’t matter who you are, what experience you have, he grabs you and you feel something different,” Bareman said of Volkanovski. “It’s a different feeling from anything that I’ve ever felt from someone of that stature. And I think the lightweight guys still feel that.

“Look, I got middleweights and light heavyweights that feel it. They’re like, ‘f–ken hell’. They’re really surprised when Alex grabs them. And you’re talking about guys like two or three divisions up from him. Lightweight’s only one division above him.

“So, I think you’d see the same Alex, just that strength and that raw physicalness that he brings.”

Volkanovski (24-1) has so far defended the UFC 145-pound title thrice, most recently against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273 in April via fourth-round TKO. His fourth title defense will be a third fight against former champion Max Holloway at UFC 276 on July 2nd.