Volkanovski (25-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC) was a backup for Makhachev and Oliveira at UFC 280 on Saturday. Makhachev (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) fought Volkanovski after submitting Oliveira in Round 2.
Makhachev wants to face Volkanovski at UFC 284 on Feb. 11 in Perth, Australia. Dariush (22-4-1 MMA, 16-4-1 UFC) was around Volkanovski during fight week and feels he’d struggle with Makhachev’s stature.
“Well, I mean, obviously I don’t want to discredit him, but he might be too small for 155,” Dariush said.
“Like I said, might be. I’m sure people said that to him at 145, too. But I just think we have a big weight advantage on him. But that would be my only thing. And no one really tries to grapple him at 145.
“I don’t think I’ve seen anyone really try to take him down. So I think the fact that he would be fighting a lot of grapplers, like a lot, man – my division, I didn’t realize it, like every single person is a grappler. Everybody loves to just wrestle. So I think it’s so different, and I think he would have some problems with that.”
Dariush, who defeated Mateusz Gamrot on the same night, says he was upset to see Makhachev and Volkanovski soon paired up.
“It was a bummer,” Dariush said.
“It sucks. I figured I put on a good show, maybe this was enough to maybe tip the scale back in my favor, but I guess not. Which is whatever.”
He added, “I did want to speak with Dana and Hunter, so I’m hoping I can maybe set up a meeting with them next week or something and get it figured out like that. Because I really do want know where I stand.”