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UFC ‘definitely’ wants Makhachev-Volkanovski rematch after Perth classic — ‘It’s gonna be a different fight’

Islam Makhachev defeated Alexander Volkanovski in the UFC 284 pay-per-view (PPV) main event last weekend in Perth (highlights here), retaining his lightweight title and sending “The Great” back down to featherweight to unify the belts against Yair Rodriguez.

“El Pantera” defeated Josh Emmett to win the interim 145-pound strap (video).

The fight between Makhachev and Volkanovski was close enough to leave the door open for a potential rematch. In fact, the Aussie (and several other fighters) believes he did enough to secure the victory despite coming up short on the judges’ scorecards.

That’s why coach Javier Mendez expects an eventual rematch.

“I definitely think the UFC is gonna want to see a rematch,” Mendez told Submission Radio. “So, I don’t see no reason why they wouldn’t do a rematch. I think it would be great. I think the fans would love it. I think Islam would be down for it also. And obviously Alex is. Because, I mean, come on now, he calls himself ‘Alexander the Great,’ and he lives up to that name. So, there’s a reason why he’s such gentleman, he’s a competitor. He feels he won, but that’s the way you’re supposed to feel.”

Just don’t expect a replay of UFC 284 the second time around.

“I think at some point they probably will do a rematch,” Mendez continued. “When they collide again it’s gonna be a different fight, different adversity for both sides. It’s not gonna be easy for both sides. No way. But let’s see what happens. Let’s see what’s in the cards. I’m sure Yair has got the next calling, and let’s see what happens from there.”

Volkanovski will first have to settle this unfinished business.

In addition, Makhachev is likely to defend his lightweight title against the winner of Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler, who are expected to throw down after their upcoming commitment to The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 31, which is set to debut this May on ESPN+.

For more UFC 284 results and fallout click here.

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