Alexander Volkanovski versus Islam Makhachev might actually eke out a decision, according to Michael Chandler.

By Vasantha

Alexander Volkanovski, UFC featherweight champion, still carries the strength from his rugby days, according to Michael Chandler.

When Volkanovski played rugby, he weighed more than 200 pounds, but in his MMA career, he weighs only 145 pounds. In the UFC 284 headliner at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia, he will challenge lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.

In spite of Volkanovski's size discrepancy, Chandler thinks he can show some resistance against Makhachev's (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) grappling prowess.

Chandler told MMA Junkie that he is a huge Volkanovski fan. "He's really good. Will he be smaller than Islam? Yes, I agree. Volkanovski will do better than we all expect. When he was playing rugby, he weighed 210 pounds or 220 pounds. That's what your body remembers.

"That strength is within you. That power is within you. It would be impossible for you to take him down with only your hip strength.  

Due to Volkanovski's short height, if Islam gets up underneath him, puts his head underneath his chin, he should be able to lift him off the ground fairly easily."

The rest of the advantages will be in Volkanovski's favor if he can avoid hitting the ground too long.

Chandler said Volkanovski was better at striking. Volkanovski is faster and more powerful than him. Volkanovski might actually squeak out a decision if something other than Islam takes him down in the first round. A decision, not a finish."