Alexander Volkanovski has made his intentions clear.
After starting his UFC featherweight championship run by only fighting once in 2020 and 2021, Volkanovski vowed to be more active. In 2022, “The Great” turned in two of his best career performances, if not his best, defeating “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung and Max Holloway in masterful fashion. Volkanovski has already gotten one fight under his belt this year, but unfortunately for him, it didn’t result in his hand being raised.
UFC 284 this past February saw Volkanovski aim to make history, challenging newly-minted lightweight kingpin Islam Makhachev for the 155-pound crown. The pair of champions put on a high-level instant classic that had spectators making cases for either as the rightful victor. Ultimately, Makhachev earned the unanimous decision, leaving Volkanovski clinging to hopes of an eventual rematch. With Makhachev’s return expected to come in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 21 at UFC 294, Australia’s finest had no other option than to keep busy in the meantime.
“I wanted to be active. I told you that,” Volkanovski said on his YouTube channel. “I was asked after the fight [with Makhachev], do I want to wait around for the rematch, do I want to fight at featherweight, what do I wanna do? I don’t want to wait around. They said, ‘Do you want to wait around and the only thing is if you wait for that fight, that might not be until the end of the year.’ We don’t know when that fight is happening but it’s not looking like it’s gonna be anytime soon.
“I ain’t waiting. I’d rather fight featherweight then do the rematch sometime at the end of the year, whenever it is. Whenever that fight can happen, that fight’s always gonna be there. I want to stay active and I told you I wanted to stay active and I wasn’t lying. This is proof of that.”
An interim featherweight champion was crowned in the form of Yair Rodriguez on the same night as Makhachev vs. Volkanovski. In the case that the undisputed champion wouldn’t make an immediate return, the interim titlist could keep things moving along. At UFC 290 on July 8, there will be no need for two straps as the pair will unify the gold.
One month before Volkanovski attempts to secure a fifth successful title defense, top lightweight contenders Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush will battle for the expected next shot at Makhachev. Despite the loss in his last time out, Volkanovski isn’t deterred from achieving his goal of double champion. Therefore, the best performance out of both fights may determine what ends up happening in the promotion’s return to Fight Island.
“When I do get that lightweight belt, you know I’ll be keeping both divisions busy,” Volkanovski said. “A lot of people were like, ‘How you gonna do it?’ This is how I’m gonna do it.”
Shame. Sean O’Malley: Henry Cejudo ‘lucky’ to not be fighting me after UFC 288, ‘I would have loved to sleep that dude’
Unimpressed. Dana White: Johnny Walker ‘didn’t really wow anybody’ at UFC Charlotte
Sad. Coach Eric Albarracin reveals how Henry Cejudo and Brandon Moreno’s friendship fell apart
Elbow. KSI addresses controversial Misfits Boxing 7 knockout win calling it ‘tarnished,’ Jake Paul responds
Analysis. Demetrious Johnson: Henry Cejudo should’ve beaten Aljamain Sterling even though he ‘dropped the ball’
Fight On. Johnny Walker doesn’t think Anthony Smith should retire after UFC Charlotte
Welcome. Diego Lopes reacts to near upset of Movsar Evloev at UFC 288, expects rematch in the future
Colorful. Merab Dvalishvili surprised stolen Sean O’Malley jacket fit: ‘He looks like a Christmas tree’
Frustration. Joe Fournier blasts KSI, Misfits Boxing, plans to appeal ‘disgusting’ knockout call
Responses. ‘Dude is Dagestani’: Pros react to Jailton Almeida’s dominant submission win in UFC Charlotte main event
UFC Charlotte Post-Fight Show.
UFC 288 Slo-Mo.
Bellator 296 recap and finishes.
For the moms.
Out of camp.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Smile, it’s sunnah pic.twitter.com/sSlS5HGLKF— Shavkat “Nomad” Rakhmonov (@Rakhmonov1994) May 13, 2023
Regardless of the outcome, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be ❤️— Jessy Jess (@missjessyjess) May 13, 2023
THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for the overwhelming support. There’s nothing like walking out to a crowd cheering for you. it means the world to me to have a fan base so filled with love❤️
I’ll be back pic.twitter.com/MCEd9rgS48
You placed your television underneath windows, interesting. I assume this was a personal choice, I hope you did not pay for this design advice. Just an observation. Carry-on. https://t.co/lFxg6cjyHj— Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) May 14, 2023
Some ppl on the internet are fucking disgusting and the shit they say to fighters is fucking disgusting. 10x out of 10x they will get smacked in the mouth in real life for the shit they say.— Amber” Touch Em Up” Leibrock (@AmberMLeibrock) May 14, 2023
スコットとチャーリーとガッチリ打ち合わせして来ました！— 榊 原信行 Nobuyuki Sakakibara (@nobu_sakakibara) May 13, 2023
“The all nonsense Keith Peterson”— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) May 13, 2023
My broadcast partner may just be the funniest man alive @DominickCruz
Immortal and Notorious.
I’ll fight you for it ♂️ https://t.co/gA81Pxckoh— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) May 14, 2023
What the fuck ? https://t.co/jk7p5oDDBR— Johnny Walker (@JohnnyWalker) May 14, 2023
I genuinely think that home invasion may have scarred Anthony Smith more than we think. I can't get the you attacked my family line out of my head. Like, that is a man drawing on ptsd mid fight...— Chris Curtis The Action Man (@Actionman513) May 14, 2023
I’ll do WHATEVER I want, any way I want on fight night… #tuf31 #teamchandler https://t.co/rZK3M98ycI— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) May 14, 2023
Class in defeat.
Congrats to @JohnnyWalker and his team. He was the better man in the octagon tonight.— Anthony Smith (@lionheartasmith) May 13, 2023
x = LFG@KChimaev pic.twitter.com/B1H1JtExMv— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) May 15, 2023
Ante Delija (23-5) vs. Maurice Greene (11-7); 2023 PFL 5, June 16
Larissa Pacheco (20-4) vs. Amber Leibrock (7-4); 2023 PFL 5, June 16
Biaggio Ali Walsh (Debut) vs. Travell Miller (Debut); 2023 PFL 5, June 16
Aspen Ladd (10-4) vs. Karolina Sobek (4-1); 2023 PFL 5, June 16
Renan Ferreira (9-4) vs. Matheus Scheffel (17-10); 2023 PFL 5, June 16
Denis Goltsov (30-7) vs. Yorgan De Castro (9-4); 2023 PFL 5, June 16
Marina Mokhnatkina (9-3) vs. Evelyn Martins (5-0); 2023 PFL 5, June 16
Danilo Marques (14-4) vs. Marcelo Nunes (9-2); 2023 PFL 5, June 16
Julia Budd (16-6) vs. Martina Jindrova (6-4); 2023 PFL 5, June 16
Olena Kolesnyk (8-5) vs. Yoko Higashi (8-3); 2023 PFL 5, June 16
Olivier Aubin-Mercier (18-5) vs. Anthony Romero (12-1); 2022 PFL 6, June 23
Sadibou Sy (14-6-2) vs. Shane Mitchell (13-5); 2022 PFL 6, June 23
Shane Burgos (15-4) vs. Yamato Nishikawa (21-4-6); 2022 PFL 6, June 23
Clay Collard (22-10) vs. Stevie Ray (25-12); 2022 PFL 6, June 23
Magomed Magomedkerimov (31-6) vs. David Zawada (18-8); 2022 PFL 6, June 23
Magomed Umalatov (13-0) vs. Nayib Lopez (16-0); 2022 PFL 6, June 23
Natan Schulte (24-5-1) vs. Raush Manfio (17-4); 2022 PFL 6, June 23
Carlos Leal (18-4) vs. Dilano Taylor (10-4); 2022 PFL 6, June 23
Alexander Martinez (10-4) vs. Bruno Miranda (15-3); 2022 PFL 6, June 23
Jarrah Al Silawi (18-5) vs. Cedric Doumbe (4-0); 2022 PFL 6, June 23
Vitor Petrino (8-0) vs. Marcin Prachnio (16-6); UFC 290, July 8
Bryan Barberena (18-10) vs. Makhmud Muradov (25-8); UFC London, July 22
CJ Vergara (11-4-1) vs. Vinicius Salvador (14-5); UFC 291, July 29
Lando Vannata (12-7-2) vs. Mike Breeden (10-5); UFC Vegas 78, Aug. 12
This is actually kind of crazy for several reasons if true, and I see no reason for Volkanovski to lie. Him having the option to just wait until UFC 294 gives the interim much more logic, but with how things have all shaken out in mind, it feels kind of hilarious if he were to beat Rodriguez and go right back to fighting Makhachev. Completely eliminates the point of that interim ... but what else is new?
Hope everyone told their moms they love ‘em yesterday. Let’s get the week off to a good start. Thanks for reading!
Last Week’s Results:
Friday: 57% of 421 total votes answered “Jailton Almeida” when asked, “Who wins tomorrow?” Almeida defeated Jairzinho Rozenstruik via first-round rear-naked choke submission in the UFC Charlotte main event.
Thursday: 68% of 374 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Should Belal Muhammad vs. Gilbert Burns have been stopped?” Muhammad defeated Burns via a unanimous decision in the UFC 288 co-main event.
Wednesday: 60% of 294 total votes answered “UFC Charlotte” when asked, “Which is the better card this weekend?” Bellator 296 took place in Paris, France the night before UFC Charlotte.
Tuesday: 59% of 564 total votes answered “0” when asked, “How many times will Jamahal Hill successfully defend the UFC light heavyweight title?”
Monday: 51% of 572 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Will Muhammad fight again before a title shot?”
Today’s exit poll:
Who would you rather see face Makhachev next?
This poll is closed
The Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush winner
The Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush winner — only if it’s Oliveira
The Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush winner — only if it’s Dariush
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