Alexander Volkanovski has been told there is 'nothing' he can do to clinch lightweight gold at UFC 284 as he prepares himself for the daunting challenge posed by Islam Makhachev.

Volkanovski, 34, aims to etch his name in the history books in Perth against the all-conquering Dagestani, with the Australian underdog moving up a weight class to add to his featherweight title. 

However, he has a monumental task at hand as Makhachev is the bigger fighter, while he also possesses incredible wrestling ability and sound striking.

And Cejudo, who is managed by the same firm as the Dagestani, has unsurprisingly cast huge doubt over Volkanovski's chances in the Octagon, saying it's 'going to be too much work' for the 34-year-old to triumph. 

'There's nothing that Alexander can do because of what the sport of wrestling has taught Islam,' Cejudo said via MMA News

'I competed in Dagestan. I've been humbled in Dagestan. I owe a lot of my success to Dagestan… Islam, where he comes from, and the lineage of Olympic champions and world champions; all these different disciplines in his country… He can get the best of the best. 

'This is why I just feel like it's gonna be too much work for Alexander. Courage though, I gotta give him that. It's ballsy for what he's doing. But I just think that it's gonna be easy work for Islam,' Cejudo added. 

Daniel Cormier has echoed Cejudo's reservations heading into the mammoth clash Down Under.

'I'm telling you, when you get into the details of this matchup, it seems a very hard match for Volkanovski to win because his skill set is almost catered for a guy like Makhachev because of Machachev's ability to stand and also his size,' the former light heavy and heavyweight champ turned commentator said. 

Cormier acknowledged that the Aussie - who weighed 100kg when he played rugby league before taking up mixed martial arts - has the ability to bulk up enough to compete with the Dagestani champ, but said it won't be enough.

'That doesn't matter. He's still shorter,' Cormier explained.

'Because he's shorter it makes [it easy] for Makhachev to use leverage against Volkanovski. I believe this would be the biggest upset in mixed martial arts history.

'Now some people will say I say that because of who Makhachev is and our friendship ... [Volkanovski] is the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, so some may ask why we'd consider it an upset.

'But I think it's all in the match-up and all in the guy he's fighting ... Unfortunately the guy in front of him is the number two pound-for-pound fighter in the world and many believe is number one.' 

Read more

2023-02-07T14:16:39Z dg43tfdfdgfd