Reigning UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski jumped to the 155-pound weight class to challenge current lightweight kingpin Islam Makhachev, ultimately falling short after five rounds of back-and-forth action atop the UFC 284 pay-per-view (PPV) card in Perth.
Unfortunately for all parties involved, that was not the end of the fighting.
Shortly after the dust settled “Down Under,” UFC lightweight contender Dan Hooker, a longtime friend and teammate of Volkanovski, outright accused Makhachev of cheating to gain a fight night advantage by way of intravenous (IV) hydration following a “killer” weight cut.
But it sounds like there’s more to the story, thanks to a UFC scale snitch.
“I believe [Hooker] is salty. Islam fought him, he almost took his arm home,” Makhachev’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told The Schmo. “I don’t know what it is. Don’t try to point fingers. In reality, and I got this from the UFC: Fight night, Alexander Volkanovski weighed two pounds heavier than Islam Makhachev. You want to talk about IVs? He weighed two pounds heavier than Islam. Islam didn’t get no IVs in Australia, understand? Maybe somebody else did, but Islam did not.”
Volkanovski was 154.5 pounds at the official weigh ins against 155 for Makhachev, so in order for “The Great” to be heavier, the commission would have required additional weigh ins on fight night. Unless Team Volkanovski was just screwing around on the scale and someone from UFC ran to Abdelaziz with the information.
The promotion later tried (and failed) to clear up the murky regulations on pre-fight IV use, which previously popped its share of high-profile fighters ahead of major UFC events. According to Abdelaziz, the mouthpieces at City Kickboxing have been talking trash to distract from the fact that Volkanovski lost, fair and square.
Makhachev was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.
“Even his coaches, they want to be famous and say outlandish sh*t,” Abdelaziz continued. “I respect Alexander Volkanovski. I respect Israel (Adesanya), I even respect Dan Hooker, all those guys. Alexander Volkanovski lost, he lost fair and square. He was in his hometown, he had the crowd, the judges think he lost. I believe he lost, four (rounds) to one. This is what I believe. You can talk trash before the fight. We all do. After the fight you can’t talk trash. I personally think Alexander Volkanovski is an unbelievable guy, a great person, a great ambassador for the sport. But if you want to talk sh*t, he (Volkanovski) can talk sh*t, but he didn’t. Don’t talk sh*t for him.”
Hooker may be held accountable for his IV whistleblowing but insists he “doesn't care.”