It will be champion vs. champion in the UFC’s return to Abu Dhabi. The withdrawal of former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira from his scheduled rematch with current title holder Islam Makhachev forced the promotion to pivot. As a result, one of the craziest short-notice replacement possibilities came in the form of the 145-pound titlist, Volkanovski.
Makhachev and Volkanovski first went toe-to-toe in “The Great’s” backyard of Sydney, Australia at UFC 284 in February. Unfortunately for the featherweight king, Volkanovski suffered defeat via an ultra-competitive unanimous decision. Always rooting for his friend and teammate, the former two-time middleweight champion Adesanya believes the fact that Volkanovski already fought Makhachev will raise his chance of victory significantly.
“When I was watching that fight live, you could see him getting more confident,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “He just knew like, ‘This is it.’ Then he just put it on him.
“What I’m really feeling is that this is his moment where he does this with the cojones he does this with and finishes Makhachev and it sends him into a different stratosphere where everyone has to respect. Like yo, he is that dude. ‘Volk’ is that guy. He knows he can get it done.”
Since the pair fought last, Volkanovkski has gotten back in the win column, defending his 145-pound title with a flawless third-round TKO performance against the then-interim champion Yair Rodriguez. The fight took place at UFC 290 in July and the Australian is getting to continue his active ways with intentions of this time bringing a second title to his homeland.
Volkanovski echoed that he believed he won the fight as soon as it ended and has wanted his rematch ever since. Despite the short-notice circumstances for this impromptu sequel, the lighter-weight champion expects to finish Makhachev this time and so does “The Last Stylebender.”
“Now he knows what he brings,” Adesanya said. “‘This guy can take me down? He can’t keep me down.’ I can get back up and f*** him up. So, now he knows what to do and he doesn’t have to worry about ‘I need to last with this guy. Only 11 days, cool. I been on the couch, cool.’
“When it gets to the fourth and fifth round, watch ‘Volk’ not get tired. I don’t think it’s gonna get that long. I honestly think third round, maybe even second round, but I think third round, ‘Volk’s’ gonna finish him. Catch him with a shot, drop him, and ground and pound him to a finish. If he submits him, that would be f****** insane but I think ‘Volk’s’ gonna catch him and drop him and finish him.”
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As far as the fight, may the best man win. I was just talking about in life. Islam made some negative comments recently. No need for me to respond with negativity. I have bigger fish to fry right now. https://t.co/fF0OJI9iYy
— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 18, 2023
I want to encourage the young fighters to beat some of my records instead of using their lips. Now thats gangsta.
— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 18, 2023
This is why no one reads this shitty ass blog. At what point while I was lightly drilling did you hear me say that to Justin. Stop with the clickbait you idiots
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) October 18, 2023
I just hope he’s nothing showing up like TJ dillashaw shoulder . Fighters are different, we hide injuries in this situation. The fact of they stop and not keeping training after starting it only few minutes ago and shake the leg is clarity that something happened , the question… https://t.co/vtpzNDcbzo
— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) October 18, 2023
New York Stamp.
Wrestling showed me that I’m tougher than I ever imagined. It pushed me beyond my mental and physical limits, instilling an inner strength that still guides me. Today, I embrace physically demanding challenges with the confidence that wrestling gave me – no matter how tough it… pic.twitter.com/k1vY9UVf6Q
— Chris Pratt (@prattprattpratt) October 19, 2023
I’m not sure what all to make of the Kamaru Usman stuff but if he did hurt himself, this may very well be his last fight and that’s a pretty big bummer. Here’s to hoping we don’t get another T.J. Dillashaw situation.
Thanks for reading!