Volkanovski’s coach declares Yair Rodriguez as a harder opponent than Makhachev

Despite the controversy, UFC 284 produced high-quality entertainment. UFC featherweight champion Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski moved up in weight and challenged lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.

Volkanovski ended up losing a fan contested decision after full five rounds.

There’s been talk of the rematch but it’s overshadowed by all the latest IV drop drama overshadowing Makhachev’s victory.

Yair Rodriguez, who competed at the same event, submitted Josh Emmett in the second round and won the interim featherweight belt. The 30-year-old Mexican is just waiting for a scheduled title bout.

Volkanovski’s coach Eugene Bareman said that their team is now in a dilemma on which to pick first between Makhachev and Rodriguez. A rematch against Makhachev might be the priority but hasn’t given any clear answer.

During an interview with the MMA Hour, the founder of City Kickboxing said that he felt Rodriguez will be a harder test than Makhachev.

“Go back to 145, obviously there is a fight sitting right there. I don’t know what Islam is doing, if he’s gonna fight soon or if he is going to fight twice a year. ”

“I’m not sure what his plans are. We have a flight locked in if Alex wants to and it’s a very difficult fight, in many ways a much more difficult fight than the one we just had versus Yair so I think that’s a challenge. And I think he should probably take it.” Bareman said.

This is pretty surprising knowing that Rodriguez’s resume isn’t as good as Makhachev. In 2021, Rodriguez lost against former champion Max Holloway, whom Volkanovski defeated 3 times.