Islam Makhachev urges Alexander Volkanovski to “take some rest” and not fight in January after knockout loss

By Cole Shelton - October 23, 2023

Islam Makhachev is hopeful that Alexander Volkanovski won’t return to action in January.

Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski

Volkanovski stepped up on 11 days’ notice to rematch Makhachev in the main event of UFC 294. Before taking the fight, Volkanovski was rumored to face Ilia Topuria in January to defend his featherweight title but decided to jump on the chance to rematch Makhachev.

However, Alexander Volkanovski ended up losing by first-round knockout as Islam Makhachev landed a head kick and then finished him off with ground-and-pound strikes. After the loss, Volkanovski was adamant that he wants to remain active and isn’t ruling out a return in January.

“I need to be busy,” Volkanovski said after UFC 294. “Again, it’s just I think my purpose obviously now is family and fighting. When I’m not fighting, I don’t feel like I’m ticking all the boxes. I need to be ticking all the boxes. I don’t like wasting time.”

Although Alexander Volkanovski wants to be active, Islam Makhachev says he would advise the Aussie to take time off and make sure his body heals from getting knocked out.

“He has to (take a break). He has a big cut on his eye. He (took) a very good kick. That’s why he has to take some rest, 100 percent,” Makhachev said at the UFC 294 post-fight press conference about Volkanovski. “If he’s smart, if his team is smart, he has to take a couple of months rest because this is not like I choked him or body kick. This was a head kick. Not just his coach, but his doctor and his team have to make (that) decision.”

As of right now, there is no word on whether or not Alexander Volkanovski will return in January. But, if Makhachev was advising the featherweight champ, he would tell him to take a break and return sometime next summer.


Alex Volkanovski Islam Makhachev UFC