Israel Adesanya was distraught as he watched his teammate Alexander Volkanovski get knocked out at UFC 294. The former UFC Middleweight champion had predicted a win for his teammate against Islam Makhachev for the Lightweight title. However, his prediction failed miserably.
Adesanya released a YouTube video where he reacted to some of the fights on UFC 294. When Volkanovski vs. Makhachev began, Adesanya was pumped up for his teammate. Volk, the UFC Featherweight champion, moved up a weight category on a 12-day notice after Charles Oliviera pulled out of the fight. Many fans wrote Volk off as he had already lost to Makhachev once and this fight would be extremely difficult under the circumstances.
Man Adesanya has not had a good time the past 2 months 💀
— 🌴ᴛʜᴇᴀʀᴛᴏꜰᴡᴀʀ🌴 (@TheArtOfWar6) October 22, 2023
What happened was exactly what the fans feared. Makhachev caught Volkanovski with a left-leg kick to the head in the first round. Volkanovski was stunned and fell down. Makhachev won the bout via an early KO. Adesanya was heartbroken.
The Last Stylebender has been on a run of bad months. Just over a month ago, he lost his Middleweight title to Sean Strickland at UFC 293 in September. The bout went on for 25 minutes but Adesanya never looked like winning it. Strickland won the bout via a unanimous decision.
Alexander Volkanovski sets his sights on Ilia Topuria after Islam Makhachev heartbreak
In his post-fight interview, Volkanovski opened up about why he agreed to fight Makhachev on such short notice. The Aussie cited mental health issues and said that he just wanted to stay busy. He even asked the UFC to keep him busy.
“I just want to say to the UFC, please keep me busy,” Volkanovski said. “I don’t do well when I’m not fighting. I needed to take this fight because it’s doing my head in when I’m not fighting. So please keep me busy.”
“Please keep me busy. I don’t do well when I’m not fighting. I do my head in when I’m not fighting.”
Alex Volkanovski still wants to fight Ilia Topuria in January 2024 pic.twitter.com/hFvf0fXahk
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) October 21, 2023
He also made it clear that he was ready to move back to Featherweight and fight Ilia Topuria in January. Almost two weeks ago, Volkanovski’s next bout was against Topuria at UFC 297. After he accepted the Lightweight title bout, fans were concerned about his availability again in January. However, Volk is not going to back out of a scheduled fight.
He said, “I’m happy to go back in January and obviously go back down to featherweight. My job here is done for now.”
Volkanovski and Makhachev showed immense respect to each other after the fight. Both fighters had kind words to say for their opponents which has been appreciated by everyone.