Alexander Volkanovski says activity makes Islam Makhachev pound-for-pound No. 1 over Jon Jones

Alexander Volkanovski thinks lightweight champion Islam Makhachev is the rightful No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.

Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) submitted Dustin Poirier in Saturday’s UFC 302 headliner to notch his third title defense. In the post-fight news conference, UFC CEO Dana White claimed that former longtime light heavyweight champion and current heavyweight champ Jon Jones should be No. 1 pound-for-pound over Makhachev.

Volkanovski (26-4 MMA, 13-3 UFC), who lost twice to Makhachev, thinks recent strength of schedule has to play a part in the argument.

“You look at Jon Jones, all right, we get it, you’re going to say he’s the greatest fighter of all time,” Volkanovski told Submission Radio. “But pound-for-pound has to go with, you know, if you fought, where one (has fought) in the last few years, eight times, against the names, and you’ve only fought once. Like, that’s got to come into play.

“But I mean, (if) we’re talking GOAT or greatest of all time top fighters, you know Jon Jones’ name is going to be up there. No one’s saying that’s not the case. But pound-for-pound, I think there has to be some activity there and who you fought lately. Islam has fought some great fighters and won. So, you’ve got to give him a lot of credit for that. I think he’s pound-for-pound.”

Volkanovski expressed interest in fighting Poirier at lightweight while he waits for his featherweight title shot. He praised both Makhachev and Poirier (30-9 MMA, 22-8 UFC) for their Fight of the Night efforts.

“I thought he (Poirier) fought great; Islam looked great, as well,” Volkanovski said. “I think a lot of people are expecting Dustin not to do so well. Like, obviously that first round it looked like, ‘Oh no, this is going to be a quick one.’ For him to bounce back from that and then start stopping the takedowns. The first one he got taken down pretty easily.

“So, I was like, ‘Oh, this ain’t a good look.’ But then he was able to stop him in the center, and he did a great job there. So, credit to him, showed toughness. But yeah, man, that’s expected from Dustin. We know he’s a gamer. We know he’s an absolute beast. And we know how good of a fighter Islam is. But I think Islam showed incredible striking, which we already knew.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 302.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie