UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev thinks there isn’t enough buzz surrounding his first title defense.
Makhachev (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) puts his title on the line against featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski (25-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC) in the UFC 284 headliner Feb. 11 at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.
Not only is it a super fight, but it’s a matchup between the UFC’s No. 1 and No. 2 pound-for-pound fighters. But Makhachev isn’t feeling the hype.
“I see that it is not such big promotion,” Makhachev said in an interview with RSports Russia. “Dana White himself has some problems. He does not pay much attention to this fight. Here in Perth, everyone knows about the fight and is looking forward to it. And in terms of pay-per-view, yes, more could have been done. I only saw Volkanovski once, in Sydney. A tour could be organized around the world. A (news) conference could be held in America.”
Makhachev won’t have his mentor ,Khabib Nurmagomedov, in his corner for the upcoming fight. While it won’t be the first time “The Eagle” will be absent, Makhachev admits he’ll miss his presence.
“When he’s in the corner, it’s much better,” Makhachev said. “We saw it in Abu Dhabi. Some trifle, or you lose control. He will tell you: ‘Slow down here. Add more pressure here.’ When you have such an experienced person in your corner, it’s undeniable that you have advantage.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 284.