Alexander Volkanovski will travel to UFC 280 to be back-up for Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev
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Alexander Volkanovski has confirmed that he will be the official backup for the upcoming UFC lightweight championship fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev.
The featherweight champ has been calling his shot and angling for this opportunity ever since the title fight was announced.
And it seems he’s gotten his wish.
Volk told his YouTube channel: “We’re locked in as a backup fighter.
“I’ve been calling it, I said I wanted it, just had to make sure the hand was all good, so we’re all good. We’re locked in, and we got the clearance to fight.
“The UFC is on board, everyone is on board, so I’ll be at UFC 280 to make weight, and yeah, looking forward to it.
“We’ll see what happens. If someone doesn’t make it, I’m there 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 Aussie broke his hand back at UFC 276 when he defended his UFC featherweight championship against Max Holloway.
However, despite the injury Volkanovski was intent on getting cleared to be available if something were to go wrong in the upcoming lightweight title fight ahead of October 22.
In an interview on Daniel Cormier’s YouTube channel, he said: “I want to get back in. I’m actually thinking, believe it or not – I’m thinking of, because I’m still training, of being if they need a backup fighter, I’m gonna be the guy that’s gonna be there. … I’m telling them I want to be there.
“I want to be the backup. I’m going to be fit enough, I’m going to get enough of a camp to stay in good enough fitness, and I’ll do it. That’s the type of guy I am.”
Although, not everyone looks to be on the same page as Volkanovski.
Iranian-American fighter Beneil Dariush has expressed his confusion at the situation, claiming he had been told by his manager that he was the backup fighter.
Dariush is on a seven-fight winning streak and is currently scheduled on the same UFC 280 card against Mateusz Gamrto.
He told Sirius XM: “Honestly, I’m confused.
“I don’t know if he’s playing games or the UFC is playing games, because I was told I’m the fill in.
“That’s the whole point of having another lightweight fight on that card, just in case something goes wrong, so I don’t understand what’s going on here.
“I’m trying to get to the bottom of it, but ultimately I have one goal and that’s Gamrot. But I really thought I was the fill-in, that’s what I was told.”
The UFC has yet to officially label anyone as the backup to the UFC 280 main event, according to MMA Junkie.
Featured Image Credit: UFC ANZ/Instagram. ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy.
Topics: Australia, Alexander Volkanoski, UFC, MMA, Charles Oliveira