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“Who Has Ever Outgrappled Islam”: Fans React As Alexander Volkanovski Surprisingly Picks Islam Makhachev Over Charles Oliveira as a Better Grappler

Published 10/02/2023, 2:11 AM EDT

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Alexander Volkanovski has made his pick, and fans are not surprised. As Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira get ready to face each other at UFC 294, ‘Volk’ shared his thoughts about who was a better grappler between the two. While Oliveira holds the record for most submission wins in the UFC, Makhachev’s wrestling skills have earned him an almost spotless MMA record (24-1).

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Now Volkanovski seems to have ended the debate with his expert opinion. Having faced Makhachev for the lightweight belt, he understands the Dagestani’s skills.

Volkanovski’s opinion on Makhachev and Oliveira: “Gonna be pretty controversial”


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Alexander Volkanovski acknowledged the wrestling and grappling abilities of Makhachev as well as Khabib Nurmagomedov, his teammate. Fighting Makhachev exposed ‘The Great’ to the pressure the Dagestani fighter created, making it almost impossible for him to get back to his feet. This, in his opinion, was the most important aspect. It was also why he felt that Makhachev was the better grappler of the two.

“Who I think is a better MMA grappler? I’m gonna point to Islam,” said the featherweight champion. “So you look, this is gonna be pretty controversial. Even if they did a Jiu-Jitsu match, who do I think will win? I’d still say Islam.”


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Perhaps to his surprise, fans on Reddit did not disagree with him. Why would this be the case? Fans had some analytical viewpoints.

Fans on Reddit side with Alexander Volkanovski

Islam Makhachev has previously gone on record to say how many BJJ black belt fighters may not be worth their mettle in the cage. His upcoming opponent, Oliveira, is a black belt in BJJ.

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Now, with Volk’s assessment, many fans agree. “Is that surprising? Charles has been outgrappled multiple times before. Who has ever outgrappled Islam?”

While most didn’t agree with Volkanovski on the issue, they still took a second to think about it. “I learned not to discredit anything Volk says.”

Overall, fans believed that Makhachev would be able to beat Oliveira, no matter what sport they were pitted against each other in. “This isn’t even a hot take. Islam beats olives 9 out of 10 times, probably at any sport except horse racing”

Clearly, Volkanovski’s opinion wasn’t as controversial among these fans as he much as he expected it to be. “I absolutely agree. Charles is a Jiujitsu savant, he has more technique and more variety of technique than anyone else in the roster but he simply lacks that stamina for control. I think Islam folds him even in Jiujitsu.”

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Unfortunately, Oliveira’s track record didn’t have a lot of fans vouching for him. “Even coming from Brazil, I kinda gotta agree with Volk here, I’m not super confident on Oliveira’s ability to beat Islam on the ground.”

Meanwhile, others remembered how Oliveira looked like he was really struggling the first time around the two fought. “Why is this even a debate? It’s like this we saw this exact matchup a year ago and got a very clear answer there. Even if you love Oliveira, he was outmatched.”


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Oliveira and Makhachev previously faced each other at UF 280. The Russian fighter defeated ‘Do Bronx’ in round 2 via a submission.

After Almost Beating the Brakes off Khabib’s Successor, Reality of Islam Makhachev’s Wrestling Laid Bare by Alexander Volkanovski

However, others believed that Oliveira would still be able to best Makhachev in a BJJ match. “Islam has more tools than Charles. Sambo,wrestling,Judo lol but in a pure BJJ match Islam loses.”


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It looks like many on Reddit are hoping for Makhachev to win the upcoming fight. But ‘Do Bronx’ isn’t to be overlooked. The fighter has already lost against the current champ once and might have a lot of ways to counter him now. The two will lock horns at UFC 294 on October 21. Who are you rooting for?

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Written by:

Prit Chauhan


One take at a time

Prit is a UFC writer at Essentially Sports. He gained great interest in the sport when he first saw WWE’s Brock Lesnar enter the cage. Having written stories in many formats helps Prit combine his craft of sewing together a narrative and his passion for MMA.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen