Volkanovski (25-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC), UFC featherweight title holder, will move up a weight class when he challenges star UFC Hall of Famer Makhachev (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) for gold in lightweight. headlining on February 11 at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. The event airs on pay-per-view after previews expected on ESPN and ESPN+.
The fight will be Makhachev’s first opportunity to defend the title he claimed. with the submission of the second round Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 in October. Makhachev won the fight largely unilaterally, and although his trainer Nurmagomedov predicts Volkanovski will put up more resistance, he said it won’t matter in the end.
“I told Islam how, before the last fight with Charles Oliveira, I told him, ‘Volkanovski is going to be tougher than Charles Oliveira,’” Nurmagomedov said during a speech on Sunday for Class A events / Penny Appeal Canada. “For example, before the fight, because it was like if Charles didn’t gain weight, then Volkanovski would have to fight him. I think he has good experience. Of course, the experience – Charles and Volkanovski they have the same.
“Both have good experience. But in terms of fighting IQ and big heart, I think Volkanovski is better than him. I think Volkanovski will be a stronger opponent of Islam than Charles Oliveira. But anyway, who cares? We’ll finish this guy.”
The fight between Makhachev and Volkanovski will be the first time in UFC history that a pair of fighters with a winning streak of 11 or more fights will meet inside the octagon. It’s also only the seventh champion vs champion fight the promotion has ever had.
This is a showdown between Volkanovski, the #1 UFC fighter, and #2 ranked Makhachev, with a lot at stake on both sides.
To learn more about the card, visit the MMA Junkie event center to UFC 284.