Alex Volkanovski is “leaving no stone unturned” in his preparation for the largest combat of his profession that would make him a UFC legend.
The Australian featherweight champion is stepping up a division to tackle Islam Makhachev for the light-weight belt at UFC 284 in Perth in February.
If he manages to beat the Makhachev, Volkanovski will develop into simply the ninth fighter to be champion throughout a number of weight lessons.
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The bout between the highest two fighters in UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings is a mouth-watering prospect for MMA followers and Makhachev will give Volkanovski the hardest take a look at of his profession.
The Russian has gained his final 11 UFC fights, has a 10cm top benefit over Volkanovski and is famend for destroying opponents together with his grappling abilities when he will get them on the bottom.
With that in thoughts, Volkanovski is leaving nothing to likelihood in a longer-than-unusual coaching camp.
“I began camp early for this one,” Volkanovski instructed information.com.au.
“Clearly it’s a giant combat, large alternative for me so I’m taking this one significantly.
“We’re taking this one very significantly. No stone left unturned on this one. We’re already in good nick and we’ve nonetheless received eight weeks to go.”
Placing on the mandatory weight to combat at light-weight doesn’t occur in a single day, however the 34-year-old is including muscle in a course of he describes as “bulking with Volk”.
“We’re doing a couple of issues otherwise truly,” Volkanovski stated.
“The energy program is a bit of bit completely different as a result of we’re clearly making an attempt to get a bit stronger and placed on that little little bit of muscle. And clearly with that you’ll want to have a food plan plan as effectively.
“So we’re bulking for the time being — bulking with Volk. We’re consuming loads. I’ve by no means thought I’d be the one to complain about how a lot I’m consuming nevertheless it ain’t straightforward to be trustworthy.”
Volkanovski is placing himself via the ringer, coaching in opposition to greater our bodies so he’s as much as the duty of grappling Makhachev.
“The fellows we’re coaching with as effectively are very heavy wrestler grappler-based coaching companions,” he stated.
“We’re fortunate sufficient to have my coaching companions and coaches from Thailand and guys like Craig Jones, clearly among the finest grapplers on this planet, and he’s like 95kg.
“It’s good. We’ve received some good our bodies to maneuver round with and getting us effectively ready.”
Tactically, Volkanovski will look to play to his strengths and combat standing up, whereas making an attempt to keep away from grappling with Makhachev.
“It’s fairly apparent what he needs to do,” Volkanovski defined.
“Everyone knows he’s a grappler, he’s going to wish to try to use his dimension and maintain me down and try to search for a submission or beat me there.
“However that’s one factor that’s going to be a really exhausting activity, and that’s to carry me down.
“It’s fairly apparent I wish to hold it standing up on the ft and put some palms on him. I’m actually assured that’s precisely what’s going to occur. That is clearly a giant problem. Islam’s no joke however I’ll be prepared for it.”
However Volkanovski is assured he can match it with him and squirm out of any difficult state of affairs, as he confirmed in his epic win over Brian Ortega.
“To be trustworthy, I’ve been fairly impressed with my grappling, particularly in opposition to guys like Craig,” he added.
“I really feel like I could possibly be exhausting work even when I wished to remain on the bottom however that’s his greatest likelihood, so clearly get again to the ft and use my abilities.
“Everybody is aware of I’ve received the placing benefit. I feel that’ll make him very uncomfortable. I’m going to make him uncomfortable on the ft and search for that end.”
Volkanovski is relishing the possibility to problem for a title in entrance of a house crowd for the primary time in his profession.
“I’ve fought in Australia a couple of instances in my UFC profession however not whereas I used to be champion,” he stated.
“I’ve been champion for a couple of years now and I haven’t been in a position to defend or combat for a title on house soil so it’s going to be unbelievable.
“Even simply having the ability to combat in Australia and to combat for a belt and never simply any belt — combat for that light-weight title, one other belt, and make historical past and actually push that legacy ahead. “It’s going to be unbelievable to try this right here in Australia.”
Certainly one of Australia’s largest sporting stars, Volkanovski is a person in demand and has teamed up with PlayStation for the launch of the God of Struggle Ragnarök online game.
“I’ve at all times been a gamer,” he stated, including he’s a greater killer within the octagon than he’s taking part in Kratos, the sport’s foremost character.
“Me and my buddies have at all times been gaming since a younger age.
“Kratos is a cool dude. Nicely I’ll be trustworthy, I’m loads higher in actual life. That’s one thing that I’ve realised. My interior Kratos is healthier in actual life than it’s within the sport to be trustworthy.”