Alexander Volkanovski’s decision to move up and fight Islam Makhachev may hinder confidence at featherweight, says Josh Thomson

The highly anticipated lightweight title bout between Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev has officially been announced as the main event for UFC 284. Former UFC lightweight and current mixed martial arts analyst Josh Thomson previewed the upcoming fight.

The LW belt & P4P status are 𝙊𝙁𝙁𝙄𝘾𝙄𝘼𝙇𝙇𝙔 on the line 👑@MakhachevMMA takes on @AlexVolkanovski in the #UFC284 main event![ Feb. 11 | Get your tickets early at UFC.com/Perth 🎟 ] https://t.co/U1jZDEsnlw

Speaking on his podcast, WEIGHING IN, Thomson offered Volkanovski praise before stating:

“I just don’t think he [Volk] has a chance [against Makhachev] and that’s it. I actually really love watching him fight. I would love to see him go through Yair [Rodriguez], I’d like to see him go through Josh Emmett and Arnold Allen… I don’t want to see him lose before beating those guys because a loss could hinder your confidence a little bit.”

Thomson elaborated:

“Skillset wise, where he lacks are all the areas that Islam is strong. The jiu-jitsu and the wrestling. That’s where he lacks. He’ll have the speed advantage.”

Alexander Volkanovski will enter UFC 284 looking to become just the fifth double-champion in UFC history. Islam Makhachev will look to become the No.1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in his first title defence.

Watch Josh Thomson’s full comments on Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev below (starting at the 1:46:40 mark):

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Alexander Volkanovski expecting a stand-up fight with Islam Makhachev at UFC 284

Alexander Volkanovski will take on Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 in one of the most anticipated matchups in recent memory. Volkanovski recently shared his thoughts on how the fight will play out.

Speaking to Laura Sanko, the featherweight champion stated:

“Islam’s a great fighter, but I love a challenge. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life… I’m the right man for the job. Obviously strategy and all that goes a long way and I’m very hard to hold down. I’m expecting a stand-up battle, let’s see how good his striking is.”

Despite his status as the No.1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter, Volkanovski has opened up as a massive underdog for the UFC 284 clash. The Aussie is an exceptional striker but unlike Makhachev, he’s far from being an elite grappler.

Watch Volkanovski’s comments on facing Islam Makhachev below (starting at the 1:50 mark):

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