Alex Volkanovski has talked about wanting to move up to 155lbs and challenge for the lightweight belt. He has already achieved everything there is to achieve at featherweight and is already in contention for a second title.
The Australian announced on Twitter that he was officially the ‘back up fighter’ for next weekend’s lightweight title headliner at UFC 280. That means he is just one injury, or botched weight cut, or failed drug test away from challenging for the 155lbs belt:
— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) October 10, 2022
Volkanovski shared some footage of his training and explained that,
“We’re locked in as a backup fighter, I got a call and said I wanted it. Just had to make sure the hand was all good.”
Volkanovski beat Max Holloway at UFC 276 but he also broke his hand in the process. That was just over three months ago but the Australian is adamant he has made a complete recovery,
“We’re all good, we got the clearance to fight.”
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While the chances of either Charles Oliveira or Islam Makhachev withdrawing from that fight appear slim this does not appear to be a last minute decision. It seems inevitable that Volkanovski will be headlining UFC 284 which is set for Perth in February, assuming he is willing to wait four months for his next fight.
The Australian made it clear that even if both Oliveira and Makhachev remain intact until fight night he expects to face the winner,
“Let’s see what happens, if someone doesn’t make it I’m there to save the day. If not at least I’m locked in as the next guy to fight for that lightweight title.”
Volkanovski has spent a lot of time training at Tiger Muay Thai and Bang Tao Muay Thai in Phuket. He is back in his native Australia now and his coach made it clear he has reservations about preparing for the possibility of facing one of two potential opponents.
But Volkanovski sounds keen,
“I’m excited for this one and I definitely believe if I can go for that double champ status I will be successful.”