- One of the greatest UFC fights of all time may be shrouded in controversy.
- Islam Makhachev may have used an illegal tactic ahead of Saturday’s UFC 284, said Dan Hooker.
- Hooker made the allegations, without providing evidence, on Twitter.
One of the most important fights in UFC history is becoming controversial when lightweight Dan Hooker accused pound-for-pound number 1 fighter Islam Makhachev of using an illegal strategy before his last fight.
Makhachev flew to Perth, Australia to headline a UFC 284 event on Saturday against UFC featherweight ruler Alexander Volkanovski.
UFC President Dana White told Insider before the show that it was the first time in history that the No. 1 roster would fight the No. 2 when both competitors were arguably at the peak of their powers.
The fight itself did not disappoint as fans at the RAC Arena, and those watching the ESPN pay-per-view at home, were treated to highly skilled exchanges between two of the best athletes in combat sports.
Ultimately, it was a fight Makhachev overcame. However, Hooker tweeted after the event that the Russian fighter used an IV to help him rehydrate after gaining weight.
This is against mixed martial arts rules after UFC anti-doping partner USADA banned it in 2015.
Makhachev “thinks he can fly to Australia, hire a nurse to give him an IV and we won’t find out”, New Zealand’s Hooker said, without providing evidence, on Monday. “Traitor dog.”
He added in a separate tweet: “He doesn’t cheat, he doesn’t win”, ostensibly referring to the megafight against Volkanovski.
—Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) February 13, 2023
One of Hooker’s followers asked who he was talking about and he specifically said, “Islam is a fraud.”
Rizvan Magomedov, one of Makhachev’s managers, categorically denied the allegations to MMA Junkie in a statement.
“We all know this is complete bullshit,” said Magomedov. “The guy is a loser. He’s salty and just wants attention, and that’s it.”
Volkanovski said similarly in an apparent joke.
In an interview that was filmed before Hooker tweeted his claims, Volkanovski appeared to say something similar to Ariel Helwani in Show MMA Hour by MMA Fighting.
Responding to a question about what he thinks Makhachev weighed on fight night after rehydration, Volkanovski said, “I hear he tops out at 180.”
Someone off-camera appears to say something to Volkanovski, who then says, while raising one of his eyebrows, that, “You fill up real quick after IVs and stuff like that.”
Although Makhachev won the fight, there may be a second chance at a championship in a second weight class for Volkanovski as there is talk of a rematch.
It’s unclear, however, whether a replay will be scheduled immediately, or whether Volkanovski would have to work his way back to Makhachev at lightweight, defending his own featherweight title first.