Alexander Volkanovski plans to challenge Islam Makhachev’s Sambo in their UFC 294 lightweight title rematch.
Volkanovski will step up on short notice to square off against Makhachev in the UFC 294 main event in Abu Dhabi. It’s a lightweight title rematch of a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate back at UFC 284; where Makhachev earned a close decision win.
Makhachev’s wrestling controlled Volkanovski for the majority of their first fight. But, Volkanovski was able to work back up to his feet on numerous occasions and had Makhachev badly hurt as the action went on.
Makhachev is a proud Sambo athlete who has transitioned to MMA with ease. Volkanovski’s grappling coach, the legendary Craig Jones, doesn’t feel Sambo will make much of a difference at UFC 294.
Craig Jones Dismisses Islam Makhachev’s Sambo Ahead Of UFC 294
During a recent interview with Submission Radio, Craig Jones ripped Makhachev’s Sambo style and feels it won’t dictate how the fight goes.
“We’ve heard about Sambo, we’ve never seen it work,” Jones said. “If Islam gets a submission, that’s a Jiu-Jitsu submission. If he gets a takedown, that’s a Judo takedown. Sambo’s a myth, to me, it doesn’t exist.”
Makhachev was supposed to face Charles Oliveira in another title rematch at UFC 294 before Oliveira suffered a severe face laceration in sparring.
Volkanovski will face Makhachev in a rematch booked earlier than expected. He defended the UFC featherweight title in a dominant performance against Yair Rodríguez at UFC 290.
Jones was brought into Volkanovski’s last-minute fight camp, and if his comments are any indication, addressing Makhachev’s Sambo won’t be a major part of the gameplan.
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