Islam Makhachev’s coach Javier Mendez believes Alexander Volkanovski will get the chance to become a champ-champ next time out.
Alexander Volkanovski is the current featherweight champion and has practically cleared out the division and has talked about wanting to fight for the lightweight title. However, the vacant lightweight title is up for grabs in the main event of UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, Dubai on October 22. If Makhachev wins, his coach in Mendez says Volkanovski is next in line.
“For me the interesting one is Alex, because he’s on a tear, and he’s a great sportsman and he’s gonna keep it clean,” Mendez said to Submission Radio.
“And if you’re asking me what I would want and who, as a sports person, not as an entertainment, but if you’re talking about sports who deserves the right? A hundred percent him, one hundred percent. He’s a class act, he comes from a very reputable gym that’s got class coaches. And they stick up for their team. I like what they represent. I like the way they stick up for each other. How they’re like of band of brothers, just like my guys are a band of brothers. I respect them. A very, very high, very, very high opinion of those guys. Very high.”
Although Javier Mendez thinks Alexander Volkanovski vs. Islam Makhachev would be next, in order for that to happen, the Dagestani fighter will need to beat Charles Oliveira at UFC 280. Yet, Mendez has a ton of confidence that Makhachev will be able to defeat the Brazilian with ease.
“Well, first of all, he’s gonna take him down. It’s just a matter of when, but he will take him down, and Charles is not gonna be able to stand. If Islam doesn’t want to stand, he will not, he’ll be taken down. He is second to Khabib in being able to take people down, and he will go down. Charles will go down. Charles is not known to be a wrestler,” Mendez said about Makhachev.
“Also, keep in mind, Charles has got such a phenomenal jiu-jitsu game. In MMA, in pure jiu-jitsu, he’s probably got the best game in the lightweight division,” Mendez continued. “So, why would he be afraid to go to the ground? He’s not. He wants to test himself there with Islam. And by all means, we’re fine with that too.
The bottom line is, the thing about this fight is, wanna stand up? Okay, let’s go. Going to the ground? Okay, let’s go. So, we’ll see who can dominate where when that time comes. But we’re prepared to dominate in the standup, we’re prepared to dominate on the ground. And they are too. They’re well prepared. He’s a champion for a reason.”
Islam Makhachev is currently 22-1 as a pro and on a 10-fight winning streak and coming off a TKO win over Bobby Green last time out. As for Alexander Volkanovski, he’s 25-1 and coming off a dominant decision win over Max Holloway to defend his belt.
Do you agree with Javier Mendez that Alexander Volkanovski is next up for a lightweight title shot?