Reigning UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev disagrees with official statistics that claim he was knocked out in his first fight against Alexander Volkanovski after missing a fifth-round knockdown.
“There was a punch, but I can’t say that it shook me – I was passing to my feet at that moment, and in the video it seems that I crouched from the blow,” the Russian fighter said in an interview with the channel “Ushataika”. “I was just passing into my legs at that point and the blow came to my ear area. The impact was good, but not enough to stagger me or bruise me.”
Makhachev admits that he made a mistake in the final round against the Australian, which allowed Volkanovski and his fans to talk about a close fight and challenge the unanimous decision in favor of the Russian.
“My mistake was that I thought, ‘I’m winning the fight, why should I take risks, maybe in the parterre something will work out.’ That was my main mistake. So I wouldn’t say it was a knockdown. You can see – as soon as he swings, I’m already leaning in to pass to my feet.”
As a reminder, a title rematch between Islam Makhachev and Alex Volkanovski will headline this weekend’s UFC 294 event in Abu Dhabi.