Alexander Volkanovski will be the backup fighter for the UFC 280 main event and does have a preference as to who he would rather face.
Rarely does a fighter in a backup position get a choice of who he or she is going to fight, but that doesn’t mean they can’t dream. UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will be serving as the backup to the UFC 280 main event. That bout will be between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev as they battle it out for the vacant lightweight belt. If for any reason, failed weight cut, injury, or illness, either cannot fight, Volkanovski will weigh in and be ready to go.
Alexander Volkanovski would rather take on the former champ if he had a choice
Volkanovski was been aware of this possibility of being a backup for about a month and now that he is healed from any lingering injuries, he is preparing as if he will get the green light in Abu Dhabi. If all goes according to plan and both Oliveira and Makhachev can fight, then Volkanovski will just get the chance to watch an exciting bout. However, just in case, he is currently training for both men, but when asked by Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour if he had a preference, Volkanovski replied.
“I’m gonna be straight up and be honest and I think Charles,” he said. “I’d say Charles would be the better opponent. People say stylistically, yeah but obviously there’s a lot of hype around Charles you know what I mean? Everyone considers him the champ, so if I beat him, then everyone’s going to consider me the champion. Oh, if I was to face Islam I’m sure people will still say I’m the champ, but I’m still gonna have to beat Charles. Where this, you know, you face Charles, it’s a bigger fight because he’s got a lot of hype on him.”
In the end, Volkanovski will not have the luxury of choosing who he faces if his services are needed. He is preparing for both and has mentioned bringing in additional wrestlers to train for Makhachev if that is his task on Oct. 22. Volkanovski also feels that he will face the winner of the bout next regardless and a move to 155 pounds is inevitable.