Reigning UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski plans to steamroll current UFC lightweight titleholder Islam Makhachev in the UFC 284 pay-per-view (PPV) main event later this month in Perth, Western Australia, and when he does, “The Great” doesn’t want fans to blame it on the disappearing act from Makhachev mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“I know people push narratives and all that type of stuff,” Volkanovski told The MMA Hour. “At the end of the day, Islam is a great fighter. He’s the one who’s going in there and doing his work, and Khabib will tell you that himself. So again, if my hand gets raised, don’t be [complaining]. These are excuses. He’s fought plenty of times with Khabib not in his corner.”
Nurmagomedov, who walked away from combat sports late last year, has been a fixture in the Makhachev fight camp for most of his career. That said, American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) head coach Javier Mendez insists an “Eagle” absence is far from a deal breaker.
“He’s done it before and he’s a great fighter,” Volkanovski continued. “He’s going to turn up and show up in the Octagon anyway, even if Khabib is there or not. So I’m preparing for the same Islam that I’ve seen, and again, if things go how I plan on them going, don’t start changing narratives and start using all these excuses, because it’s the guy in front of him that’s the problem.”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 284 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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