PERTH, Australia – Skills wise, UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev considers himself the best.
Makhachev (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) acknowledges that featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski is the No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound, but as a fighter, he thinks he holds the top spot.
He’s happy to prove that theory when the pair square off in Saturday’s UFC 284 headliner at RAC Arena. The event airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.
I believe he is the best fighter in the world right now in the rankings,” Makhachev told reporters at media day. “Of course, but I know I am the best fighter, best MMA fighter, because I have all the skills – striking, wrestling, grapping. I am the best MMA fighter.
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Although Volkanovski (25-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC) is projected to have the advantage on the feet, Makhachev is confident he can knock him out. He got to show off his hands in his past outing, when he knocked Charles Oliveira down before submitting him to claim the vacant title at UFC 280.
“We’re working on that a lot because look at my fist,” Makhachev laughed while pointing at his scabbed hand. “My goal, I want to knock him out because I have everything for that. Last fight I said before the fight, ‘I want to choke Oliveira because he has the most finishes in the UFC’ and what I did? The same goes here. I want to knock him out.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 284.
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