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Makhachev and rival champion further tease UFC superfight

The rising Russian MMA star is keen to face Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284

UFC lightweight and featherweight champions Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski have again expressed a desire to fight one another soon, after engaging in an encouraging back-and-forth on Twitter.

Makhachev clinched the lightweight belt at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi almost a fortnight ago by pulling off an impressive submission win over Charles Oliveira.

The Russian invited “short guy” Volkanovski into the octagon in his post-match interview, and the two men shook hands as ‘Volk’ accepted his challenge to meet next year. The UFC 284 card in Perth on February 11 has been earmarked as a potential date.

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Twelve days since they sized each other up at the Etihad Arena, Volkanovski wanted to make sure Makhachev wasn’t reneging on offering him a chance to become a two-weight champion.

“Are you a man of your word?” Volkanovski asked on Twitter, while tagging the Dagestani.

“Let’s make it happen!” he added, along with a UFC 284 hashtag.

Replying the following morning, Makhachev vowed: “The second I receive the paper (contract), I will sign it, don’t worry.”

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“Enjoy your P4P (pound-for-pound) first spot for now,” he said.

“Good man,” Volkanovski replied to finish their exchange with an open-hands emoji.

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As Makhachev indicated, Volkanovski is widely regarded as the elite MMA championship’s pound-for-pound champion after its previous claimant to the title, ex-welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, was knocked out by Leon Edwards at UFC 278.

A win over Makhachev would further solidify Volkanovski’s case as the best fighter on the planet.

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The Dagestani was crowned UFC king in Abu Dhabi.
Russian UFC champion searches for ‘new haters’

But should the result go the other way, the grappling expert with Khabib Nurmagomedov in his corner would increase the value of his stock even more than when he ended Oliveira’s 12-fight win streak.

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Some fans have suggested that Makhachev can’t automatically become pound-for-pound champion overnight by beating Volkanovski.

Instead, he must match the number of title defenses Volkanovski has made (four) or move up to welterweight to challenge and beat the winner of an upcoming rematch between Edwards and Usman in their view.

https://ift.tt/OR3gwCe 04, 2022 at 11:14PM
from RT – Daily news

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