Israel Adesanya is confident the world will hear “and new” this Saturday night in Perth, Australia.
UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski aims to further cement himself in the history books at UFC 284 on home soil. “The Great” returns to the lightweight division for the first time since his promotional debut in 2016. This time, he’ll be challenging for 155-pound gold against recently minted titleholder, Islam Makhachev.
While smaller in stature, what Volkanovski isn’t short of is talent to work with at his gym of City Kickboxing (CKB). Amongst his many teammates is former middleweight champion Adesanya, who has kept a close eye on the preparation ahead of the highly anticipated clash.
“He shines under pressure,” Adesanya told The Mac Life. “I expect nothing less from him this weekend. It’s gonna be won on the feet. That’s where I feel the fight’s going to be won.
“Look, he has a tough task ahead of him. Let’s not mince words or make mistakes about that. Islam is that dude, and I like the way Alex says just keep that same energy when it’s over, don’t try and tell me, ‘Ah, well, he’s only fought two Top 10 guys. Ah, well, he’s not actually Khabib [Nurmagomedov].’ Nah, keep that same energy.”
UFC 284 will mark only Makhachev’s fourth main event appearance, therefore, his fourth five-round affair. When headlining UFC Vegas 31 in July 2021, Makhachev eclipsed the 15-minute mark, defeating Thiago Moises via a fourth-round rear-naked choke submission. It’s the only time the strong wrestler has competed in a fourth or fifth round in his 24-fight career.
Volkanovski, on the other hand, lives and breaths by the championship environments. Adesanya is no stranger to 25-minute bouts himself and believes the extra time could end up being a factor in such a high-level stylistic matchup
“I don’t think Islam’s gone past round three so there’s that,” Adesanya said. “Everyone wants to be a champion until you gotta go five rounds and you gotta train for five rounds. I know they do their work, respect to their dynasty, but yeah, respect to our dynasty as well on this side of the world. They’re gonna find out.”
In regards to “the dynasty,” Adesanya returns to action this upcoming April at UFC 287 in a rematch with his longtime rival and now UFC champion Alex Pereira. The Brazilian kickboxing sensation dethroned “The Last Stylebender” this past November, scoring a fifth-round come-from-behind TKO win.
Adesanya has taken the loss in stride and continues to use the trajectory of the rivalry as a motivational tool.
“I’m not one of these guys who just chills,” Adesanya said. “I can duck this guy or wait for this guy or wait for this guy to do this. Nah, who’s ready to fight? I roll the dice.
“This is a part of my story. In any story, there are valleys. Also for him, one man’s hero is another man’s villain. If you look at his life from his point of view, I’m the villain. I’m the guy — the underdog that he beat. I went to the UFC, he chased me, got to me, beat me. So, this is my story now. This is my time for his story.”
Sightseer. Alexander Volkanovski: Conor McGregor ‘right back in the conversation’ for title shot with Michael Chandler win
Between the Links.
UFC 284 Open workouts.
MMA Fighting’s Jose Youngs chats with Robert Whittaker.
UFC 284 Fighters Pick Makhachev vs. Volkanovski.
MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin chats with Tommy Fury.
Brothers in gold.
The first trip to Perth.
Michael Chandler breaks down lightweight.
Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses where Alexander Volkanovski would rank on the GOAT list with a UFC 284 win.
There was a hair tie in my cuppa this morning. No idea how that happened. The mug was for sure empty when I started making my tea
I think the cat is trying to murder me
— Jessy Jess (@missjessyjess) February 8, 2023
Why so serious about Jimmy Bars, Randy?.
Let me make this one clear.. A “workout” is NOT Training. You must train with a purpose not simply get a workout if your goals are based on improving performance.
— Phil Daru (@DaruStrong) February 10, 2023
Not cool, B.
On another note. “Pound for pound” is an absolute load of shite made up by nerds and can never be proven to be a “p4p champ”. It’s basically a pointless argument
— Tom Aspinall (@AspinallMMA) February 9, 2023
Sooo this happened today. Got kicked in the neck while grappling by the group behind us round 1 of sparring. 6 rounds later somebody points it out, I didn’t even notice.
I guess even my spine is armored. Just built Different #FIGHTCAMPSHIT pic.twitter.com/HjFv9Xfnku
— Chris Curtis The Action Man (@Actionman513) February 10, 2023
Sam Hughes (7-5) vs. Jaqueline Amorim (6-0); UFC 287, April 8
I have gone and officially picked Volkanovski in this fight, but man, it’s about as much of a toss-up fight as I’ve ever witnessed a build to. The last time I was so unsure of an outcome was probably Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw 1. Yes, hilarious in hindsight, I know.
Happy Friday, friends. Thanks as always for reading and enjoy the super sports weekend.
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