Alexander Volkanovski plans to be the backup fighter for the UFC 280 main event.
Headlining the pay-per-view card in Abu Dhabi is Charles Oliveira taking on Islam Makhachev for the vacant lightweight title. Given the fact Oliveira missed weight last time out and was stripped of his title, Volkanovski says he is going to Abu Dhabi to weigh in and be the backup.
Alexander Volkanovski is Ready For UFC 280 Lightweight Title Fight
“I want to get back in,” Volkanovski said in an interview on Daniel Cormier’s YouTube channel.
“I’m actually thinking, believe it or not – I’m thinking of, because I’m still training, of being if they need a backup fighter, I’m gonna be the guy that’s gonna be there. … I’m telling them I want to be there. I want to be the backup. I’m going to be fit enough, I’m going to get enough of a camp to stay in good enough fitness, and I’ll do it. That’s the type of guy I am.”
“As I always say, I’ll make sure no one else can take that opportunity away from me. Because if someone else goes and does that, you know what I mean, then that puts me on the side and then I got to wait even longer. I don’t like that. I’m happy to sit there and if someone gets injured, or doesn’t make weight, or whatever, I’ll slip in.”
According to Volkanovski, the reigning featherweight champion, the goal is to still face the winner of this fight and become a two-division champion next year. He believes Makhachev wins and, if that is the case, he says he may get one more title defense at featherweight, expecting Makhachev to sit out until mid-next year.
“Charles, I think if he wins, he fights early next year,” Volkanovski said. “Islam wins, I feel it’s more mid-year, and I don’t want to wait that long. … Who do I expect holds that belt after that fight? Probably Islam. But, I’ll be there watching just in case I need to step in.”