The UFC 294 press conference certainly delivered. Of course, we got to see Makhachev and Volkanovski trade barbs but ultimately show respect to one another. or our co-main event, we saw Khamzat Chimaev doing what he does and show no fear whatsoever. The former welterweight king, Kamaru Usman seems pretty confident as he heads into this short-notice bout while also jumping up to middleweight.
As much as we loved the banter in the Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2 press conference, it was mostly cool to take it all in; this card nearly fell apart before our eyes, but thanks to these fighters and the courage they have within themselves, we've got this star-studded lineup and a card still intact. Let's get into what was said.
UFC 294 Press Conference: “Just Say Thank You”
Both Makhachev and Volkanovski are very brave for making this fight happen; with Charles Oliveira pulling out due to injury, Volk had 11 days until fight time and he accepted. This is not just a short notice fight for the featherweight champion, this is a very different fight for Islam.
Makhachev did bring this up:
“You have to say thanks to me. I can choose some- any other opponent. We have Gamrot, we have Poirier, everybody ready for fight for the belt, but I give you second times chance.”
Volkanovski responded with:
“But everyone wants this rematch anyway.”
To which, Makhachev told him to “Just say thank you.”
The lightweight chmapion was asked about his and Alexander's first meeting an what he could take away from it.
“Man, of course, he is good. If you want to finish him or you want to beat him, he never gives up. He's going to fight five rounds, it doesn't matter how how many days short [notice], it's nothing. He's going to fight. That's why we're going to show best fight again; we're going to show a good fight for all the people who are waiting for it.”
Volkanovski fell a bit short in their first meeting. Knowing what he's in for, what kind of fight is he expecting as we head into round 6 and potentially beyond?
“I mean, obviously there's going to be a lot of skill involved. But, I've made it clear, they know what's happening. I ain't here to play it safe — I can't afford to play it safe. I'm going in for the kill and that's it, you know what I mean? It's kill or be killed, you know, and that's that.”
UFC 294 Press Conference Co-main – Khamzat Chimaev vs Kamaru Usman
What a co-main event we've got right here! A bout that we expected to see at some point, but at welterweight, is now happening at middleweight as Paulo Coast was forced to step out of this bout against Khamzat Chimaev. We're here for it. This is a fantastic scrap with heavy title implications looming large.
The main event fighters weren't the only ones throwing insults are the UFC 294 press conference. Kamaru Usman was asked about Khamzat Chimaev, a fighter who has seemed almost invincible in the octagon. The media wanted to know where Usman thinks he'll find success in this fight.
“Well, that's my will againt his. When we get in there, it's, you know, unfortunately like Sean Strickland say, we're going to do the man dance. You know, put my will up against his and we'll see who starts to unravel first.”
Chimaev wasn't going to let this go without addressing it:
“Nobody come for dancing, man. I'm here to kill somebody. It's the difference; I'm not dancing in the cage… I come to smash your face, bro. Sorry.”