Alexander Volkanovski won’t wait for Makhachev rematch

Alexander Volkanovski would prefer to stay active.

By: Lucas Rezende | 5 months ago
Alexander Volkanovski won’t wait for Makhachev rematch
UFC 284 PERTH, Alex Volkanovski of Australia is seen after his fight with Islam Makhachev of Russia during their Lightweight title bout at UFC 284 at RAC Arena in Perth, Sunday, February 12, 2023. ACHTUNG: NUR REDAKTIONELLE NUTZUNG, KEINE ARCHIVIERUNG UND KEINE BUCHNUTZUNG PERTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xRICHARDxWAINWRIGHTx 20230212001762827366

The UFC featherweight champion is still chasing that double champ status. Having come up short in his super fight against Islam Makhachev for the lightweight belt, Alexander Volkanovski now has a title unification match against Yair Rodriguez scheduled for July, but the ‘Great’ has not forgotten about the last man to defeat him in the Octagon.

Alexander Volkanovski still wants the Makhachev rematch

Though the Aussie still seeks a rematch, the featherweight champion did not want to create a logjam in his division or be too inactive before he could take on Makhachev again. Knowing that it was unclear when the Russian would fight again, Volkanovski opted for the Rodriguez match instead, since the two-champion situation in the featherweight division also needed to be sorted.

“I wanted to be active. I told you that,” Volkanovski said on his YouTube channel (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “I was asked after the 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 don’t want to wait around. They said, ‘Do you want to wait around and 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.”

Staying active is Volkanovski’s main goal

In fact, being active and fight while he still can seems to be Alexander Volkanovski’s main goal. Even if the cannot secure a rematch against Makhachev by the end of the year, the 34-year-old would still like to take another fight before 2023 is up. However, that does not mean that he will have forgotten about the lightweight belt when 2024 comes along.

“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.”

“When I do get that lightweight belt, you know I’ll be keeping both divisions busy,” Volkanovski said. “A lot of people were like, ‘How you gonna do it?’ This is how I’m gonna do it.”

Volkanovski is expected to face Rodriguez at UFC 290

In his last outing, Alexander Volkanovski (25-2) dropped a unanimous decision to Makhachev, back in February 2023. The defeat marked the Aussie’s first loss in the Octagon, snapping a 12-win streak that dated all the way back to his debut in November 2016. During that time, the 34-year-old scored wins over the biggest names in the featherweight division, including Jose Aldo, Max Holloway, Chad Mendes and Brian Ortega, among others.

Meanwhile, Makhachev (24-1) rides a 12-fight win streak, with wins over notable lightweights such as Charles Oliveira, Bobby Green and Arman Tsarukyan. The 31-year-old’s last loss took place in October 2015, when he got knocked out by Adriano Martins. For now, the Dagestani does not have any fights booked.

Now, Volkanovski is expected to take on Rodriguez at UFC 290, on July 8, in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the night’s co-main event, flyweight champion Brandon Moreno is scheduled to defend his belt against top challenger Alexandre Pantoja, who holds two wins over the ‘Assassin Baby’.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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