I’d be tougher for Alexander Volkanovski than Islam Makhachev was at UFC 284
Henry Cejudo thinks he’d give Alexander Volkanovski a tougher test than Islam Makhachev did at UFC 284.
Featherweight champion Volkanovski (25-2 MMA, 12-1 UFC) took lightweight champion Islam Makhachev (24-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC) to the brink in their title fight this past Saturday but ultimately fell short.
Although Volkanovski kept his No. 1 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings, former UFC dual champion Cejudo wasn’t entirely sold on his performance.
“So, a lot of people are dismissing me now,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “Alexander Volkanovski had an amazing performance against a guy who has never been in five rounds with somebody for the first time.”
He continued, “Kudos, Alexander. You did a great job. You went all five rounds, and people thought you won. The problem that I have is when I went up a weight class I stopped ’em. There was no decision that I was going to allow the judges to take this from me. I went out there, I stopped him, and I did what I had to do to really solidify yourself as champ-champ.”
Volkanovski was competitive with Makhachev both on the feet and on the ground, but Cejudo says his skillset is better than Makhachev’s.
“Sometimes people will overhype something, and I’m guilty of it, too,” Cejudo said. “Guess what, Alexander? I wasn’t giving you a chance with Islam Makhachev. Why? Because I just thought he was bigger, and too much of that wrestler would probably overwhelm you. I am man enough to say, ‘Hey, Alexander Volkanovski’s a lot better than I thought he was defensively.’
“OK, he defended a couple takedowns, but guess what? Islam’s not an Olympic champion. Guess what? Islam doesn’t have my striking. Guess what? He’s not faster than me. Guess what? Yeah, he is bigger than me, but I’m a smaller target. It’s the same reason why people are super problematic with Alexander Volkanovski. He’s short, he’s fun size.”
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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie