Alexander Volkanovski believes if roles were reversed Islam Makhachev wouldn’t step up on short notice

By Cole Shelton - October 18, 2023

Alexander Volkanovski doesn’t think Islam Makhachev would have stepped up on short notice like he did.

Alexander Volkanovski, Islam Makhachev

Makhachev was supposed to headline UFC 294 in a rematch against Charles Oliveira this Saturday in Abu Dhabi. However, less than two weeks out from the fight, Oliveira was forced out of the bout due to an injury. Volkanovski ended up stepping up to rematch Makhachev on 12 days’ notice.

To many, that felt Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski is a bigger fight, but leading up to it, the champ has said there is no pressure on Volkanovski and he has nothing to lose. However, he feels that is the furthest thing from the truth and proves it by saying Makhachev wouldn’t take this fight on 12 days’ notice like he did.

“I guarantee you there’s not many fighters that are gonna do this. You heard Islam say, ‘No excuses,’ and things like this,” Volkanovski said. “Put it this way, one hundred percent, if the roles were reversed, this fight is not happening, I don’t care what anyone says. He’s not fighting on 12 days’ notice, so he needs to remember that,” Volkanovski said at UFC 294 media day.

Whether or not Islam Makhachev would have taken the fight is unknown. But, as Alexander Volkanovski says not many fighters would have taken this fight. However, he makes it clear there is still a lot to lose in his rematch against Islam Makhachev.

“If I were to lose, my legacy takes a big hit. I don’t get another shot at him. I don’t get another shot at the lightweight title. You know what I mean? Like, how much longer do I have? We don’t know these things. There’s definitely a lot to lose for me. I think he takes a big hit with a loss to his legacy, losing to someone who’s the featherweight champ, a division below, coming on 12 days’ notice. Again, there’s a lot of pressure on him. No pressure on me. I’m not letting in the pressure, but there’s still a lot to lose for me,” Volkanovski said.


Alex Volkanovski Islam Makhachev UFC