Alexander Volkanovski will defend his featherweight title against interim champ Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 in July, and then wants to secure a rematch with lightweight kingpin Islam Makhachev before the end of the year.
“I wanted to be active. I told you that,” Volkanovski said on his YouTube channel. “I was (asked) after the (first 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 go, I don’t want to wait around. Cus they said, ‘Do you want to wait around? 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.”
Makhachev beat Volkanovski by unanimous decision in their first meeting earlier this year, but the fight was close enough that there has been significant interest in a second clash between the two, who currently occupy the No.2 and No.3 spots on the UFC’s official pound-for-pound list.
As things stand Makhachev’s next fight is expected to take place at UFC 294 on October 21st in Abu Dhabi, but his opponent has yet to be confirmed.