UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has staked his claim to being the emergency option for the upcoming lightweight title bout at UFC 280.
The Australian hasn’t been shy in his desire to challenge for the lightweight championship, and has insisted he’d be ready to fill in should either Charles Oliveria or Islam Makachev pull out.
The pair are set to duke it out for the vacant title on October 22 in Abu Dhabi, and whilst Volk broke his left hand in his defence against Max Holloway at UFC 276 he says he’s ready to challenge for his second UFC title.
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.”
The Aussie has been intent on getting his shot, calling out the next champion following his emphatic victory over Holloway.
He continued: “As I always say, I’ll make sure no one else can take that opportunity away from me. Because if someone else goes and does that, you know what I mean, then that puts me on the side and then I got to wait even longer.
“I don’t like that. I’m happy to sit there and if someone gets injured, or doesn’t make weight, or whatever, I’ll slip in.”
If no problems arise and the fight does go ahead it certainly seems like Alexander ‘The Great’ will be next in line for a shot at the new champion.
As for who that new champion will be, Volk has his predictions.
He said: “Charles, I think if he wins, he fights early next year.
“Islam wins, I feel it’s more mid-year, and I don’t want to wait that long. … Who do I expect holds that belt after that fight? Probably Islam. But, I’ll be there watching just in case I need to step in.”
It certainly would be a gutsy move from the Aussie who is still sporting a cast for his injured hand, yet has been doing what he can to stay in fighting shape.
As for his featherweight division, he’s egging on some of the best to step up and take that shot.
He added: “Show me. Show me you back yourselves. Go and take that No. 1 spot, leave me no choice. I’ll sit there and say you are the man, you’re getting that shot. It’s that easy.”
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Alexander Volkanovski.
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