Reigning UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will be keeping a close eye on the Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev lightweight title fight, recently made official for the UFC 280 pay-per-view (PPV) event on “Fight Island” on Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi.
That’s because “The Great” is expected to move up to the 155-pound weight class and challenge the winner, barring some bizarre turn of events (like this), though you can bet that decision that will probably not sit well with this thirsty featherweight contender.
So who will Volkanovski be rooting for?
“At the end of the day, I just want the belt. What do you think the bigger fight is? I think the bigger fight is definitely Charles Oliveira,” the Aussie told The MMA Hour. “I think he’s got so much hype on him. We know it’s going to be an exciting fight, he’s so exciting to watch. There’s a reason he’s so exciting to watch. This isn’t a shot at him, I’ve got a lot of respect for him, but I think a lot of people miss the fact that he takes damage. He loses a good portion of these big, exciting fights. That’s why they’re exciting. A lot of people are hyping him up, and again, I want big fights. I think Charles is definitely a bigger fight.”
There are still a couple of hurdles to clear before that happens. Volkanovski, 33, broke his hand (again) during his most recent title defense against former featherweight champion Max Holloway at UFC 276 in Las Vegas. In addition, Oliveira and Makhachev could battle to a draw or have some kind of wonky ending that warrants an immediate rematch.
Sounds like “The Great” will be ready for anything.
“If Islam has that title, I’ll fight Islam for that title. It doesn’t matter who it is, I’ll do whatever,” Volkanovski continued. “They both have big challenges. They both have different challenges and big challenges, and that’s excites me too. A nice, big challenge, because again, I love when people doubt me. I love being the underdog, and it might be awhile until I’m an underdog in my division. But moving up, there’s going to be a lot of people that think it can’t be done, and I’m going to show them that it can.”
To see who else is fighting at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi click here.