UFC president Dana White called Islam Makhachev’s recent translated comments about the promotion of UFC 284 “internet BS.”
Makhachev is set for his first lightweight title defense. He’ll battle reigning 145-pound king Alexander Volkanovski in the main event of UFC 284 in Perth, Australia, on February 12. Makhachev recently spoke with the Russian outlet RSport Russia, and the interview was, of course, in Russian.
According to an English transcript shared by MMA Junkie, Makhachev knocked the amount of time the UFC was putting in to advertise the contest, especially because the match features the No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter – Volkanovski – versus the man in the No. 2 spot, Makhachev.
“I see that it is not such big promotion,” Mahachev said. “Dana White himself has some problems; he does not pay much attention to this fight. …In terms of pay-per-view, yes, more could have been done. I only saw Volkanovski once, in Sydney. A tour could be organized around the world, a convergence could be held in America.”
White Refuted Makhachev’s Comments, Called It ‘Internet BS’
Well, “that’s not true,” according to White, who dispelled the notion while appearing on The Jim Rome Show this week.
“Yeah, that’s not true,” White said. “I’ve talked to Islam. First of all, who interviewed him? Who translated for him? I mean, the guy speaks Russian — taken out of context like most of the things in the media.
“First of all, he lives in Dagestan. What does he know about what’s going on for the promotion of the fight? He doesn’t know anything. It’s going to be one of the top-five biggest fights of all-time. First of all, the event sold out. Right? You couldn’t get a ticket if you wanted to get a ticket in Perth. And this thing is trending right now to be the biggest pay-per-view event in Australia, which, it’s like six percent behind the Conor McGregor [versus Dustin] Poirier 3 fight. It’s probably going to break the record. So, to say that the fight hasn’t been [promoted], that’s just ridiculous. That’s what you call some internet BS.”
White Said Makhachev vs. Volkanovski Will Be 1 of the Biggest UFC Fights Ever
The UFC president said the UFC 284 headliner was trending to be in the top five of the biggest UFC events ever.
“It’s never happened before — No. 1 versus No. 2, both world champions,” White said. “Obviously, Volkanovski moving up to try and take Islam’s title. It’s never happened before, so it’s exciting. This is going to be one of the top-five biggest fights ever in UFC history, as far as gate, pay-per-view, the list goes on and on.”
White praised Makhachev for his willingness to meet Volkanovski in Australia, the featherweight champ’s home country. “I love that,” White said. “There’s a lot of posturing. Guys will come out publicly and say, ‘Oh, I want to fight this guy.’ Then behind the scenes, they’ll be like, ‘We’re not going here. I don’t want to do this, I don’t wanna do that.’
“He’s walking right into enemy territory and wants to beat him in his home country. I love that.”