Lightweight champion Islam Makhachev explains how “different” it was fighting in Australia for UFC 284.
Islam Makhachev appeared to have a difficult weight cut for his UFC 284 title fight with Alexander Volkanovski. The undisputed lightweight champion had to strip down during the official weigh-ins to make the 155-pound limit, and his alleged IV use has been a hot post-fight discussion.
Makhachev recently caught up with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter and was asked what he thought about Volkanovski remaining on top of the pound-for-pound rankings despite his win. What we brought up, in response, was how “different” things were in Australia, in terms of pre-fight protocols.
1-on-1 with @MAKHACHEVMMA on a potential rematch with Volkanovski, who is next up at lightweight and the difficulties that he had fighting in Australia. pic.twitter.com/iPrzMDHNNZ
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 5, 2023
“People expect from me, like, easy fight. How I take him down, smash him there. But, you know, many things in the Australia is different. Like, all fighter wake up early morning, they don’t give us time for the recovery. But, Volkanovksi don’t need some time for recovery. He don’t cut too much weight,” he said.
“That’s why all things from his side: area, Australia, weather and weight. But I just went to Australia, beat the champion, and I don’t care. They give me the place or not, I just have my belt.”
According to Makhachev, fighters including himself weren’t given enough time to recover.
“This is most important things for the fighter. Not just cut weight, you have to recover. But, they don’t give time for the recovery, I don’t know.”
Due to the different weigh-in and event times in Australia, fighters weigh in on Saturday morning and fight 24 hours later. It’s unlike when fighting in the US where competitors weigh in on Friday morning and fight around 36 hours later on Saturday night.
This shortened recovery times for fighters like Makhachev that typically cut a lot of weight, and indirectly favored someone like Volkanovski, who moved up a division and came in closer to his natural weight.
Nonetheless, despite a controversial result, Makhachev got the job done and now has a successful title defense under his belt. His next likely challenger is the winner between Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush at UFC 288 in May.
About the author: Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments. (full bio)