Alexander Volkanovski Suggests International Fight Week for Title Unification Bout with Yair Rodriguez

Alexander Volkanovski wants to get back in the Octagon as soon as possible, throwing out a potential return for the UFC's international fight week in July

Alexander Volkanovski
Courtesy of @UFCNews on Twitter

Everybody wants to know what’s next for Alexander Volkanovski after his instant classic with Islam Makhachev.

‘The Great’ fell short of becoming a two-division UFC champion earlier this month, but given the close nature of the contest and the highly-debatable decision handed in by the judges, many fans, and Volkanovski himself are interested in running back the UFC 284 main event as soon as possible. However, there is one little hiccup in the form of a newly crowned interim featherweight champion. 

The same night that Alexander Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev brought the house down, Yair Rodriguez delivered another spectacular performance, submitting Josh Emmett in the second round of their co-main event clash to capture the interim 145-pound title. In a video uploaded to Alexander Volkanovski’s YouTube channel, ‘The Great’ sat down to watch Rodriguez’s performance to get a beat on the man he may very well share the Octagon with next. 

“Both good dudes. Both good fighters, but Rodriguez definitely showed he prepared well and he was ready for this one,” Volkanovski said. “So he’s the interim champ. Gives me a guy. I love that.”

Alexander Volkanovski is Ready to Get Back in the Octagon ASAP

With a featherweight title unification fight looming, Yair Rodriguez expressed interest in the two squaring off when the UFC returns to Mexico City in September. However, that is far too long of a wait for ‘The Great’ who believes July’s international fight week would be more suitable. 

“International fight week, mate,” Volkanovski suggested. “Maybe we headline international fight week or something. I want to be active. I ain’t lying about it. I’ve got to step into the Octagon with Yair Rodriguez whenever that is so I’m looking forward to that. Let’s see when that’s happening.” 

Of course, it’s possible that a fight with Yair Rodriguez could sit on the back burner after both Volkanovski and Makhachev have shown interest in a sequel to their Fight of the Year contender. Given the somewhat controversial decision in an otherwise critically-acclaimed contest, Makhachev vs. Volkanovski II would be an incredibly easy sell for the promotion compared to a unification bout with Rodriguez. 

Asked straight out if Yair Rodriguez was next, ‘The Great’ was not so certain but indicated that it would likely come down to whoever was ready to go first. 

“Well, it depends right? It just depends. I’m ready to go. When’s he ready to go? The rematch (with Makhachev) is there. Can he fight straight away because I want to fight soon?”

Published on February 24, 2023 at 11:55 am
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