Though their fight in the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia at UFC 284 was one to remember, with plenty of excitement in both the striking and grappling elements of the match, as well as some healthy, mid-fight trash talk between the two, UFC Lightweight champion Islam Makhachev (24-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC) and Alexander Volkanovski (25-2 MMA, 12-1 UFC) probably won’t be having that highly-anticipated rematch anytime soon, according to Islam’s coach, Ali Abdelaziz.
Volk, who expressed discontent in the judges’ decision, and believe he won the fight, called for an immediate rematch, one which Makhachev and his team seemed willing to accept, although that fell to the wayward after some time had elapsed and UFC president Dana White expressed his desire for both fighters to defend their respective weight classes’ belts before facing each other once more. Abdelaziz, head of the Dominance MMA team, also believes that the Makhachev achieved his goal in his five round decision win over Volkanovksi and “has nothing to gain” in a rematch. Abdelaziz, also wasn’t a fan of what he believed was Volk and his team “talking sh*t.”
“This fight, Islam has nothing to gain,” Abdelaziz said in an interview with The Schmo. “Even if he beat him, he’s a small guy. We only fought this guy because he has No. 1 ranking. And honestly, I wanted the rematch. When I thought about it, I was like, all these guys talking sh*t, they kind of ruined it his team.”
Islam and crew also have their sights set on on challenger in particular in the UFC lightweight division, one who currently sports a 8-fight-winning-streak and a fighter they believe could prove to be Islam’s toughest opponent yet: Beneil Dariush (22-4-1).
“Islam has to defend his title against Beneil (Dariush), and he has to do work. And if Islam keeps on winning, at one point, he needs to go up to welterweight. I’m telling you, Beneil Dariush is Islam Makhachev’s toughest fight. I don’t care what everybody says. I know that, Islam knows that, Khabib knows that.”
Volkanovski, on the other hand, will face Yair Rodriguez on July 8th at UFC 290 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Do you think an Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski rematch puts Islam in a position where he has nothing to gain? Or would you like to see the top-rated pound-for-pound UFC fighters run it back one more time as soon as possible? Let us know in the comments.