If either Charles Oliveira or Islam Makhachev has to withdraw from their upcoming lightweight title fight at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi on October 22nd then their replacement will be none other than featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
That’s the word according to Volkanovski himself, who revealed that he’s been given the greenlight by the UFC and is now headed to ‘Fight Island’.
“Yeah, we’re locked in as a backup fighter [for Oliveira vs. Makhachev at UFC 280]. You know, I’ve been calling for it, I said I want it. Just had to make sure the hand was all good,” Volkanovski said on his YouTube channel.
“So we are good, we’re locked in. We’ve got the clearance to fight. The UFC’s on board, everyone’s on board, so I’ll be at UFC 280 to make weight. And yeah, looking forward to it. Let’s see what happens. If someone doesn’t make it, I’m here to save the day. If not? At least I’m locked in as the next guy to fight for that lightweight title, and that’s that.”
The 34-year-old had made it known that he wanted to fight for the lightweight title after his latest title defense against Max Holloway in July, which marked his 12th win in a row in the UFC and his fourth successful title defense at 145lbs.
Serving as a backup fighter might not have been quite what he’d envisioned, but by the sounds of things he feels it’ll give him the leverage he needs to call for the winner of next weekend’s fight if he’s not required on the night.