UFC ‘s Lightweight champion Islam Makhachev will put his belt on the line for the second time in a row against Alexander Volkanovski, who accepted this bout on short notice. This will be the main event of UFC 294. Here is our Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2 prediction.
UFC 294: Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2 Prediction
Islam Makhachev Preview
Islam Makhachev is the reigning, defending UFC Lightweight Champion. He is a national and world champion in combat sambo and a Master of Sports. His record is 23-1-0.
Islam had been preparing to beat Oliveira again for many months and was already imagining how he would lead him to another submission. However, the Brazilian’s unfortunate injury less than a couple of weeks before the fight changed the entire plan. Now, Makhachev will have to fight the featherweight champion for the second time in a row, who came closest to beating him since the start of his winning streak.
What can we expect from Islam Makhachev?
Islam understands that his main trump card is Volkanovski’s injury. He had to undergo surgery on his left arm in early summer. So this time, the Russian will focus on wrestling and attempts for a takedown through the legs. His task is to tie Alex's hands to the net or on the ground for a long time and not allow him to have any freedom.
If Islam gets a few minutes of control, the featherweight champion will no longer have the strength to respond with dangerous strikes like he did in the first match. Islam definitely does not need to drag out the fight and try to bring it to a judge’s decision this time as Volkanovski had no camp.
In the last fight, he proved that he is able to get behind his opponent and control him in a lock without any problems, and it is this component that should be brought to perfection this time.
What is the best Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2 prediction and what are Islam's chances of winning? Considering the whole situation, they are extremely high. Islam and Alex both wanted this rematch, but we all thought that they would approach this fight in equal conditions. However, an injury, lack of a full-fledged camp and preparation for another opponent have clearly spoiled Volkanovski’s cards.
If Islam can keep him on the ground for as long as possible, Alex will begin to panic and mindlessly move forward in search of a knockout.
The Australian understands that in this fight he can only bet on an early finish because in order to win the fight on points, he must dominate almost every round and he failed last time.
Alexander Volkanovski Preview
If there is another champion in the UFC who doesn’t look for excuses and is ready to fight anyone at any time, it’s definitely Alex. Even though he didn’t conduct a full-fledged training camp, he clearly tried to keep himself in shape. In addition, the Australian did not have time to start a new weight cut on time, so now he will not have to exhaust his body even more.
What can we expect from Volkanovski?
This time, Alex won’t want to drag out the fight. He doesn’t know if he himself has enough strength to take out Islam in the championship segments.
Alex will be looking for his knockout and will certainly weaken his defense in the process. He understands that he will have to take risks in any situation and in any game plan, so he will have to rely on unexpected attacks and sudden pressure.
We have no idea how the July surgery will actually affect the functionality of Alexander's arm. But one thing is certain: now he has only 2 options – either conduct a careful reconnaissance fight and hope to catch Makhachev in the championship segments, or he needs to invest as much as possible in the first 3 rounds and try to knock out Islam.
Even if Islam does not close the lock and does not even go for a choke, he is still able to control Volkanovski on the ground for a long time, depriving him of the strength and time to win back points. If Alex falls into this trap again, he will lose.
Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski: 2-0 for the Russian
Islam understands that this time it is definitely not worth trying to beat Volkanovski in the standing position. Instead, he will try to move his opponent as quickly as possible or pin him against the net in order to control his hands and not give him the opportunity to counterattack.
Islam's only mistake would be to try to exchange with Alex and try to beat him with his hands in the first rounds. Despite Makhachev’s current level of striking, such a risk could lead to a defeat.
This time everything is clearly in Islam’s favor, and even if not ahead of schedule, he should definitely beat the featherweight champion on points.
• Islam Makhachev to Win