Alex Volkanovski has stormed his way to the top of the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings chart and is arguably the greatest featherweight of all-time. The Australian enhanced his legacy with a third win over Max Holloway in their recent trilogy. He beat the Hawaiian from pillar to post to get the unanimous decision but also broke his hand in the process.

Volkanovski is currently healing up after that win at bout at UFC 276 but having cleared out the featherweight division he has his sights set on the lightweight strap. That particular belt will be on the line in Abu Dhabi this October.

Charles Oliveira faces Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 and Volkanovski is ready to step in should anything happen to either fighter. He told the Daily Telegraph,

“So if I’m fit enough, do I stand by and be ready (for UFC 280) just in case someone gets injured, which I’ve got a feeling someone will? Go and stand by so nobody can take that opportunity away from me? That’s the type of guy I am. So we’ll see if it’s doable and I might be making that trip to Abu Dhabi because that’s who I am. Take away anything that can get in my way.”

Recurring injury

The broken hand is a recurring affliction for the former rugby league player. He suffered the same injury during his first scrap with Holloway at UFC 245 but says he’s already on the mend and back in training.

“I trained this morning, I was doing kickboxing this morning, without using (my left) hand, obviously. But I was kicking, punching with the right hand. I did strength at the start of the week. Six weeks from now I’ll be able to grapple. Twelve weeks from when the injury happened, I’ll be full contact. It will be properly healed. Like the rest of my bones if not stronger because of the screws.” he added.

He has never fought at lightweight but used to weigh over 200lbs when he was playing competitive rugby. It seems inevitable that Volkanovski will get a chance to challenge for the 155lbs title sooner or later.

The Australian is hoping it could be as early as October and he is ready to step in should either Olivieira or Makhachev pull out of their UFC 280 headliner.