Alexander Volkanovski Accepts New Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev’s Challenge
Alexander Volkanovski, the reigning pound-for-pound and UFC featherweight champion, has been candid about a potential weight cut to 155 pounds. He even made weight and was the official backup for the main event of this past weekend’s UFC 280 main event between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev.
He anticipates getting the next opportunity at the 155-pound crown. But Makhachev upset Oliveira in Saturday’s main event when he submitted the former champion in the second round.
Volk is ready for his shot at the new lightweight champ 👀 #UFC280
(via @alexvolkanovski) pic.twitter.com/tzZFp22iCa
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 22, 2022
Volkanovski accepted Makhachev’s challenge to meet in Australia for the title.
“I didn’t expect a second-round finish. He even dropped Charles which was pretty good,” Volkanovski told the UFC.
“His hands were looking alright, but put it this way: I’ve still seen that he had problems even holding Charles down. Trust me, I am not easy to hold down. I’m going to get back to the feet. It’s going to be a stand-up war and let’s see what happens.”
Ahead of Saturday night, Oliveira, the former lightweight champion, gave two ways a fight with Volkanovski would happen.
“It all depends on how this fight [with Makhachev] will go, so we see what we’ll do, but my timing is to fight here and fight in Brazil.
“If Volkanovski wants, let’s make it happen. But let’s do it in two ways: Let’s do the first one in Brazil, 155 pounds, and in November at 145,” Added Oliveira, who also declared his readiness to challenge Volkanovski for the featherweight championship in Perth.
When Volkanovski ultimately learned about Oliveira’s challenge, he responded:
“Mate, let’s do it,” Volkanovski told MMA Junkie.
“If anyone could do it, it’s me. If he can get that done, let’s do it. Obviously, I don’t know if it makes too much sense, but I’m down. I’m down for whatever.
“I don’t know if that can even happen, but if they’re happy to do it, I’m happy to do it. It’s as simple as that.”