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Alexander Volkanovski: ‘We’re locked in as the backup fighter’ for Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev at UFC 280

Alexander Volkanovski has gotten his wish.

The current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight kingpin has expressed interest in a chance at capturing Lightweight gold since before his most recent victory in July 2022. Now, he’ll get as close to fighting for the 155-pound strap as he ever has.

Volkanovski revealed today (Mon., Oct. 10, 2022) that he will act as UFC 280’s back up fighter for the pay-per-view (PPV) main event between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev, a battle for the vacant division strap.

“We’re locked in as the backup fighter,” Volkanovski said on his YouTube channel. “I’ve been calling for it, I said I wanted it. Just had to make sure the hand was all good. We’re locked in, we got the clearance to fight. UFC’s on board, everybody’s on board. So, I’ll be at UFC 280 to make weight, and yeah, looking forward to it.

“Let’s see what happens,” he concluded. “If someone doesn’t make it, I’m there to save the day. If not, I guess I’m locked in as the next guy to fight for that Lightweight title and that’s that.”

In recent weeks, it was believed that another top Lightweight contender, Beneil Dariush, who is also competing on UFC 280 against Mateusz Gamrot, was to be the in-case of emergency fighter. For Dariush, that may end up being for the better as Gamrot will be a stiff test, requiring his full focus as is.

Volkanovski is fresh off recovering from hand surgery following his masterclass against Max Holloway in their trilogy bout (watch highlights). In the meantime, things have yet to be fully sorted at 145 pounds between top contenders, Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 280 fight card and rumors click here.

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