Patricio Pitbull picks Alexander Volkanovski to beat Islam Makhachev: ‘He’s doing what I did, what McGregor did’


Patricio Pitbull once held two belts simultaneously in Bellator after moving up from featherweight to lightweight. He expects Alexander Volkanovski to do the same in the UFC.

Volkanovski reigns supreme in the 145-pound division with a perfect octagon record of 12-0 and four title defenses, and is adding 10 pounds of weight to challenge Islam Makhachev for the UFC lightweight title on Feb. 11 in the main event of UFC 284 in Perth, Australia.

” I think that’s great, he does what I did and what McGregor did one night,” Pitbull stated on the Trocacao Franca podcast. “It’s great. He really has to test himself, really has to move up in weight. He isn’t very light, and I believe he’s strong and fast. He’ll [Makhachev] him some trouble. We know Makhachev has the height and reach advantage, but it’s a tough fight for [Makhachev]. We are going to witness a fantastic fight .”

Patricio Pitbull
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Pitbull, who faces RIZIN featherweight champion Kleber Koike in a non-title bout at Saturday’s Bellator vs. RIZIN show in Japan, was the reigning Bellator featherweight champion in 2019 when he moved up a division to challenge Michael Chandler for the 155-pound belt. Chandler had beaten his brother Patricky Pitbull twice before, but the 145-pounder stopped him in just 61 seconds before returning to his original weight class.

“People that [talk about] who’s the favorite and who’s the underdog sometimes get it right, but they’re often wrong,” Pitbull said of Makhachev opening as a betting favorite ahead of UFC 284. “I think Volkanovski wins. I do. He’s [a featherweight].. He’s difficult to beat, I believe. It’s difficult to control him, hard for him to find his feet and hard to submit, therefore [by Makhachev] he’s unlikely to be easy to spot .”


Pitbull predicts a decision win for Volkanovski, noting that he’s not known for knockout power aside from finishes over “apathetic” Chan Sung Jung and Chad Mendes in the UFC.

“He’s faster than Makhachev so he definitely has a good strategy, to keep the fight on the feet,” Pitbull said. “He controls the distance really well. Although we don’t share a common style, his strategy is very similar to mine. He is very agile and does not allow anyone to touch him. He touches without getting touched, and that’s very important in a fight. Your opponent will frustrate you and cause him pain .”