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Alexander Volkanovski looking forward facing Islam Makhachev again: ‘I’ll get the rematch ... and I’ll win’

“The Great” is still upset at how he lost his last fight against the dominant Dagestani. But, he sees the inevitable rematch (and even a third fight) going differently.

UFC 284: Makhachev v Volkanovski Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

Alexander Volkanovski is set to return at UFC 290 on July 8, 2023, to defend his Featherweight title against the super dangerous Yair Rodriguez. It’s “The Great’s” return to the weight class after an unsuccessful attempt to win the Lightweight belt off Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 earlier this year.

It’s a fight many felt he won, only to get hosed by the judges (watch highlights).

In a new interview with Logan Paul, Volkanovski dug into the ending of the fight and why it bothered him.

“The whole thing, right,” Volkanovski said. “Me moving up, wanting to challenge myself, have my moment in Australia — hadn’t fought in Australia for how long — and have a fight like that and finish like I did. And then think like, ‘We’re gonna have this f—ing moment, let’s do it.’ I was ready for it and just ... taken away from us. I was pretty f—ing disappointed with that as was everyone else that was there.”

There’s been a lot of discussion on what exactly is to blame for shoddy decisions. Is it the shoddy judges? The shoddy judging pay? The scoring criteria? Volkanovski blames the point system in this case.

“It’s that 10-point must system from boxing,” Volkanovski said. “Say the second round, a close round. Some give it to him, some give it to me. But, then you got the fifth round where I drop him, I end up just punching him into the canvas for the last minute. And that’s scored the same. Here’s the second round — that people thought I won anyway — was worth just as much as my last round.

“So, it’s a tricky one to go off because you get some really significant rounds, and then one that was 50-50, I dunno,” he continued. “And then someone ends up winning because they had a couple of rounds like that, where this guy kicked his ass for the other few as well. If that fight goes overall, like how they used to do it in other organizations, clearly you would give it to me like ‘Alex definitely won that fight.’ Going by this criteria it was definitely a bit closer but I still think I ... anyway.”

On the plus side, Volkanovski received a lot of support from fans following the fight. If anything, the close defeat only raised his profile and popularity in the sport.

“It did make it easier that everyone thought I won,” he said. “I still had the pound for pound spot, and we’re probably going to do the rematch anyway. So that makes it easier to move on. You gotta move forward. Obviously it sucks, but I’ll get the rematch, I’ll win, and then we’ll make a bigger fight, a bigger ending to that story later on.”

To check out the latest UFC 290 fight card and rumors click here.

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