Alex Volkanovski will meet Islam Makhachev for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 284.
The bout headlines the February 11 card from The RAC Arena in Perth, Western Australia.
Volkanovski will be looking to join the short list of two-division UFC champions, as he is the current featherweight titleholder. His coach, Joe Lopez, was a recent guest on Submission Radio to talk about the bout.
“We’re not worried about being taken down. We expect to be taken down. It’s just whether Islam can hold us down,” Lopez said. “That is the key. We’re not going there thinking it’s a bad thing. I mean, it comes back to the Chad Mendes fight. Everyone was saying he’s not gonna have Chad Mendes’ wrestling and everything else, and we were with that same mindset. You know, Chad’s gonna get us down, but he’s not gonna hold us down. And that’s exactly what happened. And we’re going in there with that same mentality.
“We’re not kidding ourselves, and we’re not worried about [getting taken down]. And I think that’s what happens to a lot of fighters. They get that worried about the takedown that they can’t play their own game. Where we’re expecting to get taken down, we’re just gonna get back up and we’re gonna keep playing our game. And that’s our mindset.
“It is with every fight. People say, oh, what are you gonna do against this? Or, what are you gonna do against that? Look, we know what guys are good at and what they’re not good at. But what they’ve gotta worry about is Alex’s game. Because when Alex is standing in front of you, it’s a different ballgame to anybody else.
“I can tell you that. He’s got different energy. He’s got different movement. He’s hard to read. His timing’s good. His distance is good. But yeah, like I said, we expect to be taken down. But our thing is whether he can hold Alex down. That’s really the way our mentality is going into this fight.”