Eugene Bareman: Alexander Volkanovski got ‘cocky’ on the ground with Islam Makhachev
Eugene Bareman thinks Alexander Volkanovski got too excited with his defense on the ground against Islam Makhachev.
Featherweight champion Volkanovski (25-2 MMA, 12-1 UFC) was edged out by lightweight champion Makhachev (24-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC) in the UFC 284 headliner, but surprised many with his resistance on the ground.
Makhachev had a hard time holding Volkanovski down, but in Round 4, was able to secure a body triangle that won him the round. Makhachev failed to inflict any serious damage, but Bareman says Volkanovski got too excited and confident, which resulted in him getting caught in the compromising position.
“Alex was in the process of escaping before the triangle,” Bareman told Combat TV. “While Islam was on his back, Alex was in turtle. At the same time he was in turtle, he was looking at all the boys in the front row – Izzy (Adesanya), Dan (Hooker) and them – and saying, ‘I’m out.’ You know, being a little bit, in my opinion, cocky – basically acknowledging to the boys that he’s out and that Islam can’t keep him down
“And about that exact time that Alex did that, Islam jumped to the body triangle. And that just goes to show at this level of the sport, millimeters, centimeters separate us. A second, a split second of lack of concentration – that’s what separates you from the win and the loss.”
Bareman admitted he’s naturally biased saying he thought Volkanovski won, but pointed to Round 4 being the deciding five minutes.
“I thought we scraped it,” Bareman said. “But at the end of the day, the three (judges), didn’t so what does it matter? They are the people that count, and (what I think) doesn’t matter. That fourth round would have sealed the deal either way, I think, and Islam got it. Congratulations to him. He did a great job.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 284.
Islam Makhachev def. Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284: Best photos
Twitter reacts to Islam Makhachev's narrow title defense vs. Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284