Alexander Volkanovski will be facing Islam Makhachev for the UFC lightweight championship in just three days. This is the first time in UFC history, that the top two P4P best athletes are going to face each other in the cage.
While the two are quite likable and don’t engage in much trash talk, their rivalry is getting more heated as their bout approaches.
Volkanovski feels like Islam is getting cocky and that he disrespects him by smirking at him during his interviews. So, he slammed Islam in a recent interview, who responded to him on social media with a challenge.
Volkanovski said that he plans to wipe that smirk off Islam’s face; he just wants him “to make weight comfortably,”
The king of the featherweights was talking to ESPN MMA, where he said that Islam is going to lose his smile once he begins to make weight.
“Obviously, we know he cuts a lot of weight and all that type of stuff. You see him smirking in all the interviews and all that. This week you won’t be seeing him smirking, you’ll see him struggling, he’ll be fragile. But, we’re just hoping he makes weight.”
Volkanovski said that while he is confident, he still shows respect to Islam. Meanwhile, he feels like the defending champ is arrogant toward him. But he said that he’s ok with it because it’s going to make his win feel even better.
“You could see I was confident, but there was definitely respect there. I know he does [respect] because he’s a pretty respectful dude but I felt like there was a cockiness.”
“And I love smacking smirks off people’s faces, so I’m looking forward to that … It’s going to be pretty embarrassing for you, mate, if you’re gonna start talking like that. So let him do that, it just makes my win even bigger and your loss very embarrassing.”
The Dagestani champ responded to Volkanovski on Twitter. He wants the challenger to have the “same energy” during their pre-fight press conference. He tweeted the following:
“Just watched Volk interview with ESPN about smacking my face etc. Keep the same energy tomorrow at press conf when you face me”
Just watched Volk interview with ESPN about smacking my face etc.
Keep the same energy tomorrow at press conf when you face me
— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) February 9, 2023
Syed Ali Fazeel is an accomplished MMA fan, and writer. He discovered MMA in his youth and has been following the sport since TUF season 1.