Prepare for fireworks.
That’s the message from the UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski as he assessed the confrontation between two former advisors of Tiger Muai Thai, Brad Riddell and Rafael Fiziev, in Las Vegas this weekend.
There’s probably no one better than Volkanovski in light fighting, as he spent time training with both fighters early in his career in Thailand and he still keeps Riddell as part of the team. his coaching staff today.
Volkanovski told ESPN: “I was there during a trial and I ended up getting one of the scholarships.
“He was my standout coach in Thailand and ever since… and after that, Rafa was also at Tiger Muai Thai and he was also a standout coach for me.
“So it was pretty crazy and now they’re going to work this weekend. It’s a myth.”
Riddell is no stranger to explosive fights, with all of his four fights in the UFC so far going the distance with lots of bloodshed in between.
And the same goes for Fiziev, whose own UFC career spanned five innings, setting the stage for a fight that both men will likely want to stand and smash.
“They are all excellent strikers,” said Volkanovski. “Very similar, in a way, when it comes to combos and fighting what’s in front of them, they’re just incredible.
“I just feel that Rafa, he’s so good, he’s just putting all his combos together and he’s just fighting whatever is in front of him. I think Brad, he’s just as well. so, but at the same time he’s going to use more strategies and there’s going to be things that he’s going to try and capitalize on, some movement and stuff like that.
“But they’re both the type that can adjust quickly, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out because there’s probably no one that puts combos together like these two. As you say. In terms of combos, kicks and punches coming together, there’s probably no better person in the world than these two boxers.”
Volkanovski had originally hoped to be in Riddell’s corner this weekend, but the replacement featherweight champion chose to play it safe and stay at home with his family in Australia.
However, when asked what he would say to Riddell before the opening bell rang, Volkanovski said he wouldn’t get caught up in the free, no matter how difficult that might prove to be.
“I wouldn’t want to go overboard, so it’s probably going to be tough, I can just remind Brad that ‘this is going to be a fun fight, I think we’re all going to enjoy it, but don’t be offended. get caught up in it, stick with that strategy.’
“No matter what, there’s going to be fireworks, it’s just their style. I just think there’s going to be some way to take advantage of some when they’re out there and absolutely rocking. I can’t wait. wait to see this, I’m very interested to see how this goes.As the rounds go on there are bound to be some key moments for both sides and let’s see who capitalizes on in day.
“Brad comes in with a good chance. I like both of them but Brad is my son, and I just think when the fight goes into this kind of fighting, a little bit of game planning or strategy will come into play. Everyone’s going to be eliminated and they’re going to wobble, but both are warriors smart enough for them to do the right thing at the right time when they’re really hurting.
“So I feel that it’s going to be a decisive win for Brad, but be prepared for the sheer fireworks you’ll be in your chair the whole time.”
Meanwhile, Volkanovski also confirmed that a trio fighting with Max Holloway remains the #1 plan for his third title defense next year.
He is also desperate to bring a title fight to Australia in 2022, which has not hosted a UFC event since October 2019.
“We haven’t heard too much yet but we’ll engage in conversations [with Max] “Volkanovski told ESPN.” Obviously Max is saying his things, but that’s what the UFC wants and that’s what’s going to happen. He’s just talking. So we haven’t heard too much yet but they are looking around March.
“Defend this belt in Australia. It’s always been my dream and I’ve had my Perth card taken from me; that’s what I would have defended in Australia. But hopefully next year we can. do it because the Australian Fans deserve it. Let’s take a look at some of the events back here.”