Following his championship defence at UFC 290, Alexander Volkanovski needs to recover from a few minor wounds. Even so, he'll still be prepared for a possible rematch against Islam Makhachev later this year.
On Saturday night, shortly after eliminating Yair Rodriguez, Volkanovski acknowledged having an arm surgery. He won't, however, let it stop him from achieving his goal of being a two-division UFC champion. Volkanovski seems more than willing to step in for Charles Oliveira if Makhachev headlines UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi given that Oliveira recently announced he won't be able to compete in October.
“It makes it a lot better opportunity for me to step in there [against Islam Makhachev],” Volkanovski said when addressing Oliveira. “I’m not ruling that out. It’s funny. These people want extra time off and here I am telling you I’m going to get surgery and I’ll probably going to turn out there in October. That’s what I’m showing you.
“Find me a champion, there’s not many of them anyway. I know you maybe got your [Israel Adesanya] and myself that are doing this. We’re going out there, we’re staying active, we’re fighting the fights that a lot of people wouldn’t. I think people need to respect that a lot. People talk about BMF’s and all that type of stuff. They’re real BMF’s. Guys that turn up when there’s a lot on the line.”
However, knowing that nothing will be simple, Volkanovski won't dishonour Makhachev by predicting a one-sided bout when they next meet. Volkanovski's assurance that he will leave with two crowns is the only difference.
“I’d be lying if I say I’m just going to walk through him and do this and do that,” Volkanovski said. “It’s going to be another highly contested battle, but I guarantee I get my hand raised. I think I’m going to capitalize on a lot more things but again, it really is two top guys going at it. They’ve done five rounds and there’s a good chance you might see another five rounds of it. I’d like to get a finish, but we’re both that good. It might be that type of fight.