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Makhachev aiming to KO Volkanovski: 'This is not his area'

Brett Hemmings / UFC / Getty

Islam Makhachev hopes to get out of his comfort zone at UFC 284.

The lightweight champion said he wants to finish Alexander Volkanovski on the feet when he defends his belt against the featherweight titleholder Feb. 11 in Perth, Australia.

"Honestly, I want to knock him out," Makhachev told ESPN Deportes' Carlos Contreras Legaspi. "Everybody says Islam is a grappler or wrestler. But I want to show people my striking. He's a short guy, and I really believe I can knock him out."

Makhachev, one of the UFC's most dominant ground fighters, will be making his first defense of the 155-pound title he earned by submitting Charles Oliveira last October.

Meanwhile, Volkanovski is moving up in weight after rattling off four 145-pound title defenses since winning the championship in 2019. The Australian is the UFC's No. 1-ranked male fighter and is riding a 22-fight winning streak. But Makhachev plans to show that he, as the larger fighter, is in a different league.

"This is not his area," Makhachev said. "I am from (another) division. This is not the same power. Not the same. He's going to understand this."

If he beats Volkanovski, Makhachev said he wants his second title defense to come against Beneil Dariush.

"He's good," Makhachev said. "I hope he wins his next fight. He has (a) good ... win streak."

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