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Lil’ Alex Volkanovski ‘not a huge threat’ to Islam Makhachev, UFC’s ‘master of the takedown’

Makhachev has 25 takedowns across 12 fights for UFC. Volkanovski has also made a dozen appearances inside the Octagon and has been taken down eight times.

Reigning UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has been teasing a jump to lightweight after cleaning out the 145-pound division. The lightweight title remains vacant after this fiasco but No. 1-ranked Charles Oliveira and No. 4-ranked Islam Makhachev are in talks to throw down at one of the promotion’s upcoming pay-per-view (PPV) cards.

The winner could face off against “The Great” by the end of the year.

“I don’t think [Volkanovski] poses as big a threat to Islam as you would think because he’s such a master of the takedown and Alex isn’t going to be able to stop it, no matter what he does,” Mendez told Submission Radio. “And Islam’s stand up is so damn good that he can stand with him. So, you know, unless Alex’s ground improves tremendously, I don’t see it as a huge threat to Islam. I see Oliveira as a huge threat, but I don’t see Alex. Only because he ain’t gonna be able to stop Islam from taking it to the ground, and I just don’t think he can handle Islam’s ground game.”

Makhachev sports a five-inch height advantage but gives up one inch in reach.

UFC President Dana White recently told the combat sports media that Beneil Dariush vs. Mateusz Gamrot is the fight to make, so there’s not much standing in the way of a Makhachev title shot. And now that Oliveira no longer holds the title, he doesn’t have the same bargaining power (or influence) when it comes to this “Notorious” fantasy fight.