This Saturday, Alexander Volkanovski will attempt to write his name into the annals of UFC history. Islam Makhachev, the recently crowned lightweight champion of the promotion, will be his opponent. The greatest obstacle that “The Great” will attempt to conquer will be this one.
If he is successful in stopping the Dagestani phenom’s run, he will join an exclusive group of individuals. He’ll win titles in two divisions at once. He’ll be aiming for what other fighters like Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier have accomplished. But not all double winners are created equal.
Despite not being the first simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history, Alexander Volkanovski will be the most impressive if he succeeds. Here are five explanations on why it is the case.
5. Alexander Volkanovski will be facing the No.2 P4P fighter in the world
The presumed successor to Khabib Nurmagomedov is Islam Makhachev. Anyone can see why the current 155-pound champion is regarded as “The Eagle’s heir” by watching his fights inside the octagon. He recently ousted Charles Oliveira to extend his winning streak in the UFC to 11 games.
The AKA star is also presently recognised as the world’s second-best P4P fighter. No other double champion, past or present, has competed against someone this high in the P4P rankings to win a second divisional championship. However, Alexander Volkanovski is taking on this imposing challenge.
It is significant when you contemplate the merit ‘The Great’s’ triumph might have if he unseats Makhachev on fight night.
4. Every other double champion’s opponents didn’t measure up
Cris Cyborg was defeated by Amanda Nunes, who then won two championships. Even though she won, her opponent’s UFC career was not nearly as noteworthy as one may have anticipated. The defending Bellator women’s featherweight champion didn’t face any famous UFC competitors save “The Lioness” and Holly Holm.
It was a contentious matchup between Cyborg and “The Preacher’s Daughter,” and some people felt that Cyborg was given the decision win. Other double champions also experience dubious conditions. Against unbeaten Marlon Moraes, Henry Cejudo won the vacant bantamweight title.
Eddie Alvarez was defeated by Conor McGregor, who had four victories, three defeats, and one no-contest during his UFC career. Due to his victory over Stipe Miocic, only Daniel Cormier is in contention. However, given that ‘DC’ dropped their two subsequent rematches, some have criticised his first victory as a flash knockout.
Given the level of opposition he will see, it will be even more impressive if Alexander Volkanovski completely outperforms or outperforms Islam Makhachev over the course of five rounds to secure a convincing victory.
#3. Alexander Volkanovski would have solved the puzzle of Dagestani wrestling
Caucasian fighters have most recently been the dominant force in the UFC. Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired with a 29-win undefeated record, set the tide in motion. Since then, numerous people have done the same.
Following suit were those like Muhammad Mokaev, Magomed Ankalaev, Umar Nurmagomedov, Khamzat Chimaev, and Islam Makhachev. In their combined careers, the five of them have suffered just two defeats. Four of these fighters are natives of Dagestan, as well.
The degree and style of grappling they use inside the octagon have seldom ever been matched by anyone. Numerous legendary fighters have fallen short of their goals. Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, Charles Oliveira, and Conor McGregor were all defenceless.
Alexander Volkanovski will reveal to the world the formula that other fighters must use to vanquish their Dagestani conquerors if he decisively defeats Islam Makhachev.
#2. Alexander Volkanovski will be at an enormous size disadvantage
Volkanovski is a small yet powerful man. Many of Islam Makhachev‘s comments about his forthcoming opponent have been jabs at the Australian’s small stature. That is true for a good reason. The maximum height of Alexander Volkanovski is five feet six inches.
He fights at featherweight, although despite his height, he would fit in just fine at bantamweight. His opponent, however, is only two inches shy of standing six feet tall. He is a 155’er who is incredibly big. Only Henry Cejudo, one of the double champions, faced a similar size disadvantage when winning a second championship.
The main distinction is that Marlon Moraes faced “The King of Cringe.” Daniel Cormier was not in new territory despite giving up five inches to Stipe Miocic. He competed against the greatest 265’ers in the world for the majority of his career as a heavyweight. Not the case with Alexander Volkanovski.
While ‘The Great’ has competed in the lightweight class, his time there has been infrequent and has also been on the local level. In contrast to the greatest 155-pounders in the world, he won’t have any experience competing against them and will be at a big size disadvantage.
#1. He’ll be facing a champion who looks invincible
Except for Cris Cyborg, none of the opponents the past or current UFC double champions faced were thought to be unbeatable. But even the Brazilian bruiser was much less dominant versus Holly Holm as usual. Many people thought she had lost the fight because she appeared to be mortal.
Islam Makhachev cannot be said to be the same. Except for the instant knockout loss he suffered against Adriano Martins in the opening minute of their fight, the Dagestani had appeared to be nothing short of invincible. No fight, however, has given anyone the notion that there is a tried-and-true strategy for defeating him.
There is no tried-and-true tactic or game plan that has been successful in beating the current lightweight kingpin. Like it can against any opponent at any time, hitting him incredibly hard once works. Alexander Volkanovski will become the first fighter among double champions to dethrone him if he does.