Alex Volkanovski has responded to critics who think he is making a mistake with a quick turnaround after losing to Islam Makhachev by knockout at UFC 294.
The UFC featherweight champion stepped up on short notice to take on lightweight counterpart Makhachev after Charles Oliveira was sidelined due to injury. Since the first fight between the two was razor close, fans anticipated another slobber knocker, but the Dagestani spoiled the party by knocking the Aussie out with a head kick.
Volkanovski will now defend his featherweight title against Ilia Topuria at UFC 298, just four months after his loss to Makhachev, and many think he should have taken more time to heal mentally and physically.
In a recent interview with Michael Bisping, Volkanovski said that he doesn’t understand that narrative.
“He’s a good matchup,” Volkanovski said. “A lot of hype around him, undefeated, I think this is just the perfect bounce-back fight for me, as well. A lot of people are saying he’s dangerous, which look, he is dangerous. He’s a powerful dude. He’s undefeated. That’s a story in itself. You’ve got the story of what happened in my last fight. People are like, ‘Oh, is he coming back too soon?’ All this is a part of the story. When I look at it, I’m like, ‘Mate, I’ve been in camp for that long. I’m hearing people saying, Oh, he’s back too soon.’ I just can’t see it.
“I’ve been busting my ass for that long. I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ Like, I’ve had that much time. This has been a very long camp for me. Obviously I followed all the protocols after it from concussion and that like, I’m lucky enough to have a great team around me. But we followed that to a T, and that’s why the fight was pushed back a month because we just thought January was rushing. We wanted that extra month where I could ease into it and then start camp. That’s what we did.”
Do you think Alex Volkanovski should have taken more time off?