I natt är det dags. UFCs P4P 1a och P4P 2a kommer ställas mot varandra. Organisationens lättviktsbälte står på spel. Volkanovski delade nyligen med sig av sina tankar inför fighten.

Alexander Volkanovski är van vid att vara den kortaste mannen i buren

Natten till söndag kliver den regerande fjäderviktsmästaren Alexander Volkanovski in i buren för att möta Islam Makhachev. Den sistnämnda är bälteshållare i UFCs lättviktsorganisation och det är den titel som står på spel.

Volkanovski intervjuades nyligen av Ariel Helwani i The MMA Hour och berättade då om hur han känner kring Makachevs längdövertag.  Transkribering via MMA Fighting.

I’ve been short my whole life. Actually, I wasn’t short my whole life — when I was 12 years old, I was actually one of tall kids, but I just stopped growing then. But nah, man, I was short in my last fight against Max [Holloway], I was short against ‘Zombie’ [Chan Sung Jung]. I was short when I was a welterweight, I was short when I was a lightweight, I was short when I was a middleweight. I was short when I was a rugby league player, when I was playing in the front row — I was very short for that position I played, semi pro. Even the representative teams that I played for, I was always short.

Den regerande lättviktsmästaren är tio centimeter kortare än Makachev.

”Låt oss vara ärliga när det kommer till Islam”

Därefter delade Volkanovski med sig av hur han har tänkt kring sina förberedelser inför matchen.

I’m the type of guy that will prepare accordingly to whatever is in front of me. He is a high-level grappler, high-level wrestler. Again, I’ve got to put in my head that I’ve got to expect to be taken down, right? If I don’t get taken down, alright, yeah, there’s a good chance I don’t get taken down. My movement, my takedown defense is on point. But mentally, I need to prepare for that. I don’t want to sit there and tell told myself it ain’t going to happen — all of a sudden then you start panicking. No, I prepare myself for the worst every single time. Every time, no matter who I’m in the octagon with. With someone like Islam, I need to capitalize on the feet I need to make stuff happen. Usually, you’ve got to worry about someone’s only chance of winning is a puncher’s chance, and you try to take that away from them.

Fjäderviktsmästaren värderar Makhachev som en bra motståndare och ser flera vägar till en potentiell seger för ryssen.

Let’s be real with Islam: He doesn’t just have a puncher’s chance. I fight a bad fight, he could win a decision, he could win a submission. There’s there’s more more ways to winning for someone like Islam. So we know where he wants to take it and I know where I need to capitalize, so that’s why you’re going to see me very dangerous on the feet. And really, when I say capitalize, you’re going to see me really, really want to hurt him on the feet.

Enligt Volkanovski kan fjäderviktsmästare hitta avslutet i samband med nattens match. Han är dock redo för fem ronder inne i buren.

So I really do believe that I can get a finish, even though he is a great fighter, I have nothing but respect for him, but just where my head’s at right now and what I need to focus on, what I need to do, especially in certain positions, that’s why I feel like I can definitely hit the finish. But I’m mentally prepared for 25 minutes of hard work.

Makachev erhöll lättviktsbältet i samband med sin senaste match. Då besegrades den dåvarande mästaren Charles Oliveira via en arm-triangle choke i matchens andra rond.

”Jag vill hålla båda divisionerna aktiva”

Om Volkanovski vinner nattens match kommer han fortsätta vara aktiv i både fjäderviktsdivisionen och lättviktsdivisionen.

I don’t think the person who’s holding the interim belt is going to want to wait too long, so I want to keep both divisions busy promised that and I’m going to do my best to make sure that happens. I’m a man of my word, I always have been, and I wouldn’t be where I am without all that. That’s just the type of guy I am.

I nattens delade huvudmatch kommer Yair Rodríguez möta Josh Emmett för interim bältet i fjäderviktsklassen.

Volkanovski står med ett totalt matchfacit som lyder 25-1-0.

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