UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has doubled down on previous statements that his bulk-up to 155 to face Islam Makhachev for the lightweight championship has only bolstered his abilities for the upcoming fight, particularly in the strength, defense and “brick wall” categories.
“The fact that I’m moving up, doing the bulking, telling myself we need to get stronger, we need to work on that takedown defense, all of a sudden I’m twice as strong as I was,” Volkanovski said in a sit-down with FREESTYLEBENDER.
“My defense is just on point,” Volkanovski added. “I’m like an absolute brick wall when people are trying to run into me, and they feel it, they instantly feel it as soon as they grab a hold of me, or we grab each other. They can already significantly see the strength, so it just makes you think where I go from here.”
The five-foot-five, thirty-four-year old Volkanovski thinks that Islam Makhachev is seriously underestimating him on account of his size, something that has happened in the past with previous opponents.
“I’ve seen him before. He just did a session, I just did a session,” Volk said of Makhachev. “And we were just walking. But even him looking like… with a smirk on their face. Obviously, I’m short. Whether I surprised him how short I was, it shouldn’t, ‘cause I’m f—ng tiny.
“I’ve always been short. That’s how it is. Even the featherweights are taller than me.
“You could even see in his face, the look that, like, ‘this guy ain’t too big.’ I’ve seen that on plenty of people’s faces. I’ve seen that lot in my previous fights. My last four, five fights. That face quickly changes as soon as I’m in front of him in the Octagon.”
Volkanovski believes that hubris will disappear quickly into the fight, even as quickly as the two’s first exchange.
“Give me 10 seconds with him, that face changes real quick. All of a sudden, that size doesn’t matter. All of a sudden my footwork, ‘Where’s this guy at? I’m in a puzzle, he’s already giving drama.’ Then I put my hands on him, there’s another problem. Then they try to grab a hold of me, and I’m a little brick f*king wall. There’s another problem.
“That’s when you see them start to crumble and be like, ‘F*ck, what have I got myself into?’ That’s exactly what’s going to happen with Islam, especially the way he’s looking. I can tell he really thinks he’s going to be way too strong.”
What do you think of the fact that Alexander Volkanovski says he’s ‘twice as strong’ after bulking up to 155? While the bulking up will almost certainly help Volk’s overall strength will it have any detriment as well? Let us know what you think in the comments.