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Here’s what Islam Makhachev thinks of Alex Volkanovski after running into ‘short’ backup for UFC 280

UFC 284 Perth Media Opportunity Photo by James Worsfold/Zuffa LLC

Reigning featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is preparing to fight at the UFC 280 pay-per-view (PPV) event in case something happens to either headliner, but even if “The Great” does not replace Islam Makhachev or Charles Oliveira, the promotion is expected to grant him a lightweight title shot in early 2023.

UFC 284 is booked for the Aussie’s backyard on Feb. 12.

LIVE! Watch UFC 282 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

YEAR-END PPV BLOWOUT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) closes out its final pay-per-view (PPV) of the year on Sat., Dec. 10, 2022, with a battle for the vacant Light Heavyweight crown between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Jan Blachowicz, looking to stop the momentum of No. 3-seeded Magomed Ankalaev. In the co-main event of UFC 282, which will take place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, breakout star, Paddy Pimblett, intends to keep his momentum going at the expense of gritty veteran, Jared Gordon.

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“Honestly, I met Volkanovski downstairs – he’s a short guy,” Makhachev said during the UFC 280 media day (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “I ask him why you need to cut weight right now? But if I beat Volkanovski people are going to say [I beat a smaller opponent] but people are always going to talk. I went to Australia one time. I can go again. [Volkanovski] is going to be a good fight. Always when the champion from other divisions fights with other champions, it’s a big fight and very interesting fight for all fans.”

Volkanovski will try to succeed where his teammate failed.

“I think if I had to lean towards someone it would have to be Islam,” the featherweight champion said on his YouTube channel. “No disrespect to Charles because Charles has proved himself, but I just think stylistically that’s maybe how I see it going. Either late finish, whether it’s kimura, armbar, arm triangle, that type of stuff, or decision. Charles is the underdog as the champion. He’s proven himself, obviously, but I can still see why he’s maybe the underdog. A lot of people think that’s disrespectful, I don’t think it is. I think maybe they’re just looking at Islam being able to control him.”

We’ll find out this Sat. (Oct. 22) at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 280 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 10 a.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPNews at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 280: “Oliveira vs. Makhachev” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the complete UFC 280 fight card and PPV line up click here.

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