It took everything Islam Makhachev had to get the decision victory over Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284. The two went the distance in a match that went back and forth for all 5 rounds that saw Volkanovski finish strong. Barely a day after their fight, the featherweight champion’s City Kickboxing teammate, Dan Hooker, made some wild accusations about the lightweight champion.
In case you missed it, Dan Hooker accused Islam Makhachev of cheating by using an I.V. to rehydrate. This is strictly prohibited under USADA guidelines, and athletes caught doing this face a massive suspension. Makhachev then responded to Hooker by mocking him in an Instagram story. But it seems there is more to this story than it seemed previously.
Islam is a cheat. https://t.co/bIdk13C26P— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) February 13, 2023
Alexander Volkanovski addressed these allegations against Makhachev on the MMA Hour in an interview with renowned MMA journalist, Ariel Helwani. What makes this more intriguing is the fact that this interview was conducted before Hooker sent out those tweets. And this timeline was confirmed by none other than Ariel himself.
During the interview, the UFC featherweight champion talked at length about the fight. He told Helwani about how he didn’t feel threatened even when Islam took his back during the fight. The featherweight champ also let Ariel know that he would destroy the Dagestani lightweight champion if he ever dropped down to 145 lbs.
What did Alexander Volkanovski say about the cheating allegations against Islam Makhachev?
At one point during the interview, Ariel Helwani asked Alexander “The Great” about how much he weighed during the fight. After he answered the question, Helwani asked him the same question about Makhachev. And when Ariel was shocked at how much weight Makhachev cuts, Volkanovski wasted no time in clarifying how the lightweight champion manages this.
“I think he gets up to like 83 kgs. Like you know, you fill up pretty quick on the I.V.s and stuff like that,” explained Volkanovski. When Helwani asked him if this was legal in active competition, he laughed and said, “Yeah, maybe that’s a little shot at him.” A very telling address of the situation from the champ.
It seems Makhachev’s UFC 267 opponent, Dan Hooker was more affected by Islam’s alleged cheating than Alexander Volkanovski. However, the fact that the UFC featherweight champion acknowledged these allegations even before Hooker makes it seem as if the City Kickboxing teammates have received some kind of insider information.
Only time will tell how this debacle plays out. Did Islam Makhachev cheat? Or are these allegations baseless and flat-out untrue? What are your thoughts on the entire situation?