Javier Mendez believes Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski will run it back in the future.
On Saturday at UFC 284, Makhachev defeated Volkanovski by unanimous decision to retain his lightweight title. Despite the unanimous decision win though, the bout was more competitive than some thought going into it, and immediately afterwards, Makhachev’s coach acknowledged that Volkanovski was the toughest test of the champion’s career thus far.
“It was definitely a challenge,” Mendez told Submission Radio afterwards. “Alex, he actually became the challenge Khabib [Nurmagomedov] told me that he was gonna be. He felt that Alex was gonna be the toughest challenge for Islam, and that Islam was gonna have to grind it out through the end. That’s what he felt. And I said, well, I didn’t know, cause the way I looked at Islam, he looked fantastic in training. But Khabib had a feeling that it was gonna be a tougher fight than I anticipated myself. So, it was exactly what Khabib thought it was. It was a real tough fight. We got pound-for-pound for a reason, but we beat it from a guy that is the greatest of all-time in the featherweight division and one of the greats of all-time, he’s gonna be, no doubt.”
Afterwards the loss, Volkanovski called for a rematch, arguing that he should have won three rounds, but an immediate rematch seems unlikely. Instead, the featherweight champion will likely look to unify belts with Yair Rodriguez next, who won an interim featherweight title in the co-main event of UFC 284. But, Mendez says, a rematch will eventually happen.
“I definitely think the UFC is gonna want to see a rematch, so I don’t see no reason why they wouldn’t do a rematch,” Mendez said. “I think it would be great. I think the fans would love it. I think Islam would be down for it also. And obviously Alex is. Because, I mean, come on now, he calls himself Alexander the Great, and he lives up to that name. So, there’s a reason — and he’s such gentleman. He’s a competitor. He feels he won, but that’s the way you’re supposed to feel. And he’s got the right attitude, and yeah, I think at some point they probably will do a rematch.”
Makhachev also has other fish to fry at the moment, with Mendez noting that he feels Beneil Dariush deserves a shot at the lightweight title next. But whenever it does happen, Mendez says that things will be entirely different than they were on Saturday.
“When they collide again it’s gonna be a different fight, different adversity for both sides,” Mendez said. “It’s not gonna be easy for both sides. No way. But let’s see what happens. Let’s see what’s in the cards. I’m sure Yair has got the next calling, and let’s see what happens from there.”
Results. Islam Makhachev retains lightweight title, Yair Rodriguez wins interim featherweight belt at UFC 284.
Meh. Islam Makhachev: ‘I’m not just champion, I’m the best fighter in the world’ after beating Alexander Volkanovski.
Talk. Alexander Volkanovski reveals what he said during mid-fight trash talk to Islam Makhachev at UFC 284.
Also no. Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev more confident in victory after rewatch, Volkanovski claims 3 rounds.
Overdue. Jens Pulver announced for 2023 UFC Hall of Fame class.
Emotional. Jens Pulver brought to tears by UFC Hall of Fame announcement.
UFC 284 Post Show.
UFC 284 Press Conference.
Jens Pulver video.
Israel Adesanya reacting to UFC 284.
Michael Bisping reacting to UFC 284 from cage-side.
Daniel Cormier reacts to UFC 284.
Paddy Pimblett watches UFC 284 in a pub.
On To The Next One. Matches to make following UFC 284.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Dumb cunt thinks he can fly to Australia hire a nurse to give him an I.V and we won’t find out. Cheating dog.— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) February 13, 2023
USADA doing fuck all. pic.twitter.com/ilJplHsh9h— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) February 13, 2023
Prove me wrong. Bet cha can’t.— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) February 13, 2023
Thank you to EVERYONE who has been a part of my Journey! Wasn’t the outcome we worked for but It’ll motivate me to come back stronger! Head held high, on to the next one! pic.twitter.com/SDrswb8Zrj— JOSH EMMETT (@JoshEmmettUFC) February 12, 2023
That was a great fight last night lads! No loser there just winners. The Ozzie and the Ozzie’s showed out and I fucking loved seeing it! Perth looks fuckin’ tasty too, now I see why so many Irish are there. I should’ve went out, former titles on the line congrats all at @ufc— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 12, 2023
Finally got to watch #ufc284 tonight fell asleep last night ♂️ I think that was the highest level mma fight I’ve ever seen! Will talk about it tomorrow with @DamonMartin on #fightervswriter tomorrow!— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) February 13, 2023
Unpopular opinion. @alexvolkanovski proved he’s the 1 p4p last night. Fought a bigger opponent, fight could have easily went the other way. Definitely did more damage.— Cody Stamann (@CodyStamann) February 12, 2023
There should be no “robbery” discussion. Islam won that fight! With that said, he did not do enough though to overtake the PFP #1 spot. He fairly won more rounds but took more damage and was fading the more it went. This, against the smaller man going up a class. #UFC284— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) February 12, 2023
Like it or not we dont fight to the death or until someone just gives out— Marvin Vettori (@MarvinVettori) February 12, 2023
If we would fights would play out very differently
Finishing strong doesnt mean you would have won if the fight would have continued bc the ruleset would have been different and so the pace of the fight
I’ve seeing a lot of credit given for Alex’s grappling defense, I believe Islam also deserves some credit for how sharp is striking really is he’s the only person I ever seen rock alex def watching it again today I loved the fight— Terrance McKinney (@twrecks155) February 12, 2023
P.S. *side note. Perth was L O U D!— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) February 13, 2023
P4P Crowd. No question. Until next time.
The best UFC 284 take.
I think it’s pretty clear now that rugby is a better base for combat sports then wrestling. #UFC284— Zac Pauga (@ZacPauga) February 12, 2023
I'm still down @alexvolkanovski + #C4 pic.twitter.com/89QmEiz5x7— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) February 12, 2023
I’m still down too. What’s the craic, m8? You looking like food https://t.co/vMT8i2ogzB— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) February 12, 2023
Will Brooks staying on his grind.
I'm the only person to step up to fight @JalinTurner on short notice.— Will Brooks (@ILLxWillBrooks) February 13, 2023
Guys of the @UFC roster ain't said a word or they trying to move the fight to a later date. @danawhite @seanshelby @Mickmaynard2 don't let Turner's camp go to waste... Let's cook!!!
There are two guys who don’t currently have a fight and most likely will end up fighting each other rather than fighting me, @DominickCruz and @SugaSeanMMA— Umar Nurmagomedov (@UNmgdv) February 13, 2023
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow!
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