Alexander Volkanovski believes the knockout kick from Islam Makhachev was planned before their UFC 294 fight in Abu Dhabi.
Makhachev snuffed out Volkanovski’s mission to become the fifth UFC double champion with a stunning kick to the head knocking the Australian out in the first round on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT).
Despite missing out on unifying his featherweight title with Makhachev’s lightweight crown, Volkanovski explained why the Dagestani champion defeated him for a second time.
MORE: UFC 294: Alexander Volkanovski reveals mental health battle after Islam Makhachev defeat
“Ah, yeah, man, that’s the game, ey?” Volkanovski said when asked about the knockout kick in his post-fight press conference.
“Caught me. I haven’t watched it back but he got me, went straight over nice and high even though I was shelling.
“Probably something they planned so credit to them.
“I felt strong in there. I’ve been telling you I wanted to put hands on him, and I wanted to pull the trigger.
“But I just felt a little hesitant which I didn’t expect. It was like I was waiting for something. Like I was gunna go, was gunna go, and then he got me. What do you do?”
Volkanovski took the fight with Makhachev with only 11 days notice after Charles Oliveira pulled out through injury.
While the Aussie stressed he didn’t want to make excuses, he felt that maybe it wasn’t the best decision for such a monumental bout.
“I don’t want to sit here and make excuses,” Volkanovski said.
“I’m a big believer in preparation. But I back myself. And that’s the decision I made.
“So I probably made decisions…I could’ve made better decisions.
“He (Makhachev) is not someone you should take a short notice fight with. But I needed it.
“Obviously a lot of people will say it’s for the money but it was much more than that.”
With such short notice before the fight, Volkanovski wasn’t able to complete a full fight camp.
While the Australian accepted it was his call to go in with less preparation, he felt that it could have contributed to the result.
“That’s going to sound like excuses – (But) I probably would’ve stuck to a better game plan,” Volkanovski said.
“I’ve always been a big believer in preparation. You want to get your eye in. You want to feel and see all these shots coming in during camp.
“In saying that, I thought I was blocking that kick and he got over it. I wanted to go in and do more anyway, but it’s pretty obvious you don’t want to go five rounds with someone like Islam. Especially an Islam on full camp.
“I wanted to go out there and let the hands go. I didn’t, he did. He was ready for that, he did a great job at close range.
“I thought I’d do more there, I didn’t and he did a great job.”
MORE: UFC 294 results: Islam Makhachev stops Alexander Volkanovski with brutal head kick in rematch to retain lightweight championship
UFC 294 fight card
- Islam Makhachev def. Alexander Volkanovski via 1st round knockout (head kick & punches) (3:06) to retain the UFC lightweight title
- Khamzat Chimaev def. Kamaru Usman via majority decision (29-27, 29-27 & 28-28)
- Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker ends in No Contest (3:13)
- Ikram Aliskerov def. Warlley Alves via 1st round TKO (flying knee, punches) (2:07)
- Said Nurmagomedov def. Muin Gafurov via 1st round submission (guillotine choke) (1:13)
- Muhammad Mokaev def. Tim Elliott via 3rd round submission (arm triangle) (3:03)
- Trevor Peek def. Mohammad Yahya via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 & 30-27)
- Javid Basharat vs. Victor Henry ends in No Contest
- Sedriques Dumas def. Abu Azaitar via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28)
- Mike Breeden def. Anshul Jubli via 3rd round KO (punch) (3:00)
- Muhammad Naimov def. Nathaniel Wood via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28)
- Victoria Dudakova def. Jinh Yu Frey via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28)
- Sharabutdin Magomedov def. Bruno Silva via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27)