Ali Abdelaziz: Islam Makhachev has nothing to gain from rematch with ‘small guy’ Alexander Volkanovski
Dominance MMA chief Ali Abdelaziz doesn’t see the point in UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev running things back with Alexander Volkanovski.
Makhachev (24-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC) was pushed to the limit by featherweight champ Volkanovski this past February at UFC 284, but he ultimately did enough to win the fight on the judges’ scorecards.
Volkanovski (25-2 MMA, 12-1 UFC) thought he won and called for a rematch afterward, but Makhachev’s manager, Abdelaziz, said their initial goal was fulfilled. So why fight Volkanovski again?
“This fight, Islam has nothing to gain,” Abdelaziz told The Schmo. “Even if he beat him, he’s a small guy. We only fought this guy because he has No. 1 ranking. And honestly, I wanted the rematch. When I thought about it, I was like, all these guys talking sh*t, they kind of ruined it his team.
“Islam has to defend his title against Beneil (Dariush), and he has to do work. And if Islam keeps on winning, at one point, he needs to go up to welterweight. I’m telling you, Beneil Dariush is Islam Makhachev’s toughest fight. I don’t care what everybody says. I know that, Islam knows that, Khabib knows that.”
Abdelaziz called Volkanovski a great guy but thinks his team made him look bad after making allegations that Makhachev used intravenous (IV) therapy to rehydrate after weigh-ins – an illegal practice, depending on the amount, since the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency was introduced as the UFC’s drug-testing partner in late 2015.
It was Dan Hooker, who was quickly submitted by Makhachev at UFC 267, who started those rumors, but no proof was presented.
“Don’t try to point fingers,” Abdelaziz said. “In reality, and I got this from the UFC – fight night, Alexander Volkanovski weighed two pounds heavier than Islam Makhachev. You talking about IVs? He weighed two pounds heavier than Islam. Islam didn’t get any IVs in Australia. Maybe somebody else did, but Islam did not.”
Volkanovski is expected to unify his belt with interim featherweight champ Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 on July 8. Meanwhile, Makhachev wants to make his next title defense at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi.
Adriano Moraes realizing his own dream with ONE Championship's first U.S. show
Robert Whittaker says Israel Adesanya doesn't want trilogy: 'I'm the biggest threat to his reign'
Video: What is Song Yadong's ceiling coming out of UFC Fight Night 223 win?
Alexander Volkanovski picks Henry Cejudo to beat Aljamain Sterling: 'He's got more tools'