‘Three belts!’ – Alexander Volkanovski suggests BMF title fight while waiting for Islam Makhachev

Alexander Volkanovski won’t rule out a BMF title fight as he waits for a rematch with Islam Makhachev.

By: Kristen King | 3 months ago
‘Three belts!’ – Alexander Volkanovski suggests BMF title fight while waiting for Islam Makhachev
Alexander Volkanovski after UFC 284 in Feb. 2023 |IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

As Alexander Volkanovski waits for a rematch against Islam Makhachev, the ‘Great’ says he would entertain other fights, including one for the ‘Baddest Motherf—ker’ (BMF) belt. Earlier this year, Volkanovski and Makhachev turned in a ‘Fight of the Year’ contender that saw the former fall short to the latter via unanimous decision. Given how close the fight was, the pair agreed to a rematch, but it would have to wait until Volkanovski and Makhachev addressed other challengers in their respective weight classes. 

Alexander Volkanovski: The next BMF champ?

For reigning UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, his next assignment comes against Yair Rodríguez, who earned the interim UFC championship with a second-round submission of Josh Emmett at UFC 284 this past February. Volkanovski vs. Rodríguez goes down at UFC 290, the upcoming pay-per-view event scheduled for July 8 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. As he previously said, with a win against ‘El Pantera,’ Volkanovski would return to lightweight for a rematch against Makhachev near the end of the year. 

However, the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) representative could be busy by that time with another rematch — one against Charles Oliveira. ‘Do Bronx’ earned a first-round finish of Beneil Dariush at UFC 289 this past Saturday, and all signs seemingly point to Makhachev vs. Oliveira II next. If it is, then Volkanovski said he would want to stay active, and a fight for the ‘BMF’ belt is a great way to do so. 

“At the end of the day, [I] fight anyone, anywhere, anytime, you know what I mean? Who is the real badasses?,” said Volkanovski on the FREESTYLEBENDER YouTube channel. “The guys that would fight injured and consistently, like Israel Adesanya, like myself. I look at all these guys — don’t get me wrong, they’re badasses, too. But, 100 percent, that’s something I would love to do. I’ll do it anywhere, any place, any time.

“Maybe [I’ll have] a ‘BMF’ fight if Islam is doing his thing and then we’ll do our rematch after,” continued Volkanovski. “Then I can have three belts! I’d have that featherweight belt, ‘BMF’ belt and that lightweight belt. We’re onto something.”

The ‘BMF’ belt is on the line for Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje, who are scheduled to rematch at UFC 291 on July 29 at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Islam Makhachev rips the BMF belt

Though Alexander Volkanovski sees value in the ‘BMF’ belt, Islam Makhachev  believes there is none. During a recent interview with Daniel Cormier, the reigning UFC lightweight champion said it is a belt ‘for the bums.’

“One question. If Dustin Poirier beats [Justin] Gaethje, and he’s gonna fight next for the lightweight title, he’s gonna come with the ‘BMF’ title? He’s gonna come to Abu Dhabi [at UFC 294 in October] with the ‘BMF’ title?’”, asked Makhachev. “I don’t want this s—t. ‘BMF,’ what is this? This belt is for the bums. First time who fought for this belt? [Jorge] Masvidal and Nate Diaz. Two people who never can be champion, you know? They give him some belt [and said], ‘Guys, be happy, fight for ‘BMF.’ 

“What is this? I don’t know,” continued Makhachev. “Dana has to stop this. After this, talk to Dana and please tell him to stop. Gaethje and Poirier, they fight for the real belt many times and they always lose. And now Dana, like, [a] good guy, gives them other belt. “Honestly, [if] someone give me this belt tomorrow, I don’t want this s—t.”

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About the author
Kristen King
Kristen King

Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016, getting her start with outlets such as FanSided, MyMMANews and MMA-Prospects. She joined the BE team in 2020, covering a mix of news, events and injuries. In her time with BE, Kristen has created ‘Fright of the Night,’ a series that highlights some of the worst injuries in the sport.

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