Octagon legend Daniel Cormier says Alex Volkanovski will have to pull off the biggest upset in UFC HISTORY to defeat Islam Makhachev and become a two-weight champion
- Cormier says the Aussie is too short to jump up in weight and beat Makhachev
- Makhachev is believed to be the second best fighter pound-for-pound in the world
- The ex-heavyweight champ said Volkanovski would need an all-time upset to win
Australia’s pound-for-pound UFC king Alex Volkanovski has outlasted everyone in front of him in the octagon but his nine-year unbeaten run will almost certainly end at the hands of Islam Makhachev, according to MMA great Daniel Cormier.
The featherweight champ is trying to join an elite group of fighters who will dominate two divisions when he faces the lightweight belt holder at UFC 284 in Perth next month – and according to Cormier, he’ll almost need a miracle to win.
‘I’m telling you, when you get the details of this matchup, it seems like a very difficult fight for Volkanovski to win because his skill set is almost catered for a guy like Makhachev because of Machachev’s ability to stand up and also his size, ‘ said the former light heavy and heavyweight champ turned commentator.
Volkanovski made easy work of Max Holloway in his last fight (pictured) to keep his nine-year unbeaten run alive – but Cormier is predicting defeat for him at UFC 284 next month
Makhachev (right) easily submitted highly-rated Charles Oliveira in October (pictured) and is the bookies’ favorite to defend his crown against the Aussie
Cormier acknowledged the Aussie – who weighed 100kg when he played rugby league before taking up mixed martial arts – was capable of bulking up enough to compete with the Dagestani champ, but said it would not be enough.
‘That doesn’t matter anymore. He’s still shorter,’ Cormier explained.
‘Cause it makes him shorter [it easy] for Makhachev to use leverage against Volkanovski. I believe this will be the biggest upset in the history of mixed martial arts.
‘Now some people will say that I say that because of who Makhachev is and our friendship … [Volkanovski] is the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, so some may question why we would consider this an upset.
‘But I think it’s all in the fight and it’s all in the person he’s fighting … Unfortunately the guy in front of him is the number two pound-for-pound fighter in the world and many believe he’s number one.’
Cormier says his friendship with the Dagestani fighter has nothing to do with his confidence in beating Volkanovski
The Aussie sent Makhachev a heartwarming message in a recent Instagram post as he revealed he is preparing for the megafight in Perth
The Australian has since posted evidence of his weight gain for the fight on social media, with a picture of him looking bulked-up with the caption, ‘Yo Islam… my name is on your belt and on your knees i love your face this!!!’
‘Islam is strong,’ Volkanovski said on his YouTube channel. ‘Islam will be ready. But I guarantee you, mark my words, I will be ready. I will be more than ready.’
Unlike Cormier, lightweight star Michael Chandler believes Volkanovski can pull off an upset in Perth thanks to his strength.
‘I’m a big fan of Volkanovski,’ Chandler said. ‘He’s very good. Will he be smaller than Islam? Yes, So much. I think Volkanovski will do better than we all think.
‘He used to weigh 210 pounds, 220 pounds, whatever he was when he was playing rugby. Your body remembers that.
‘You carry that strength. You carry that power with you. You only carry the strength of the hips of Islam that he cannot be brought down.
‘In the striking department, Volkanovski is better than him. I think in the speed and in the power department, Volkanovski is better than him.’