Alexander Volkanovski plans to defend his featherweight title against Ilia Topuria before facing Islam Makhachev in a rematch.
In February of this year, Volkanovski failed to defeat Makhachev for the latter’s lightweight championship, which would have made ‘The Great’ a two-division UFC champion. Five months later, the Australian superstar returned to 145 pounds and defended his title with a third-round TKO win against Yair Rodriguez.
For those who don’t know, Volkanovski likes to stay active, leading to him already considering what’s next. During a press conference appearance at UFC 293, ‘The Great’ had this to say about his plans moving forward:
“You got the Ilia [Topuria] fight that’s always gonna be there. You got that rematch that I want [against Islam Makhachev]. I want to be active. Obviously, Islam and Charles [Oliveira] are going at it soon, so I don’t want to be waiting around, so I’ll do early next year, I think.”
“I wanted this year, but I think the schedule is just not going to be able to fit me in. I think there’s a few champions that need to be fighting, which is fair, but I would’ve been happy to get one in this year.”
There’s no doubt that Volkanovski is eyeing revenge against Makhachev. Unfortunately for him, he will have to wait, as the Russian is scheduled to defend his 155-pound title against Charles Oliveira on October 21. Regardless of who wins at UFC 294, there is a chance Justin Gaethje will get the next lightweight title shot.
Alexander Volkanovski wants Islam Makahchev rematch at UFC 300
Alexander Volkanovski’s fight against Islam Makhachev was incredibly close, with plenty of fans thinking the featherweight king should have had his hand raised. Therefore, the inevitable rematch is expected to be a blockbuster matchup fitting for a special event.
During the same press conference at UFC 293, Volkanovski was asked about potentially fighting Makhachev again at UFC 300. He responded by saying:
“I think that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, for sure, I think that would be great, especially with me getting my hand raised on that one for UFC 300 would be perfect, but again, we will see what we can do. But I think that’s one of the bigger fights you can make. I truly do believe that. A lot of people want to see that again. It was very, very competitive, and I guarantee you, I get it done next time.”
Before focusing on Makhachev, Volkanovski must be locked in for his expected featherweight title defense against Ilia Topuria. ‘El Matador’ holds a UFC record of 6-0, including four wins inside the distance.
On June 24, Topuria battered Josh Emmett in his latest fight to secure a unanimous decision win and prove he deserves a title shot.