- Alexander Volkanovski accepted Islam Makhachev rematch on 11 days notice
- Australian insists people acting as if he has nothing to lose are wrong
- But he accepts that this ‘will be one of the most dangerous versions of him’
Alexander Volkanovski has warned Islam Makhachev to ‘expect the most dangerous version of himself’ in their UFC 294 showdown.
The plucky Australian accepted a rematch with Islam Makhachev on 11 days notice after Charles Oliveira was forced to pull out with a cut suffered in sparring.
And he believes he will finish the dominant lightweight champion on Saturday night in Abu Dhabi.
‘I believe I finish him,’ he told the MMA Hour. ‘I think you’re gonna see probably one of the most dangerous Volkanovskis you’ve ever seen, just purely because I can’t afford to do anything else.
‘Stuff leaving it to the judges. Stuff any of that. Let’s just go out there and really set a statement. Go and knock him out? That’s going be an absolutely mind-blowing for the world to see.’
Alexander Volkanovski believes he will finish Islam Makhachev on Saturday night
The pair met at UFC 284 in Perth earlier in the year and Volkanovski took a narrow loss
As for the lack of preparation time, Volkanovski believes it could work in his favour on this occasion.
He added: ‘It’s exhausting going through camp sometimes.
‘Sometimes you do eight to 12 weeks of just absolutely bashing yourself, mentally and physically.
‘So not to do that, obviously, you have to get yourself ready, but I’m sort of in a position where I don’t lose fitness overnight. It takes me a long time to lose fitness.
‘Now, I can take this sort of freshness [into the fight]. That’s the word I’ve been using into this fight, going in there, sort of excited, fresh and it’s like I don’t have to prepare for the worst.
‘Can I do five rounds? Yeah, I think I can, but I’m not going to sit there and kill myself because I don’t have time to prepare for the worst. But what I do have time for is to prepare for what I believe is going to happen.’
Makhachev outpointed Volkanovski in their first fight back in February on Australian soil and will have the support of the crowd in the middle east this time around.
Volkanovski says he comes into the fight fresh having not undergone a gruelling camp
The Australian believes he will be at his most dangerous when he seeks a finish
Some view Volkanovski’s acceptance of the fight on late notice as a shot to nothing but he doesn’t agree, insisting he could have to wait a long time for another chance if he loses.
The featherweight champion said: ‘There’s still a lot of people acting like there’s nothing to lose for me. You hear people that will say that, and I mean, that’s a lie.
‘Everyone knows I want this rematch, I want this belt, and if I lose this fight, I ain’t getting a shot at the title any time soon. Let’s be real. I ain’t getting a rematch anytime soon, either.’
‘You hear about him talking about moving up [in weight], and just so much as, what if it doesn’t happen? What if this is my only opportunity?’