Alexander Volkanovski is ready to throw down with Islam Makhachev for a second time.
The pair of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champions at Featherweight and Lightweight helped kick off the 2023 calendar year with a thrilling showdown in February. Unfortunately for “The Great” Volkanovski, he came up short via a unanimous decision loss in his bid for a second world title (watch highlights). He’s been hopeful for a rematch ever since.
“I think that makes a lot of sense [for UFC 300],” Volkanovski told media at UFC 293 this past weekend (Sat., Sept. 9, 2023) in Sydney, Australia (h/t MMA Fighting). “I think that would be great. Especially with me getting my hand raised on that one for UFC 300 would be perfect but we’ll see what we can do. I think that’s one of the bigger fights that you can make. I truly do believe that.
“A lot of people want to see it again,” he concluded. “It was very, very competitive and I guarantee I’ll get it done next time.”
Volkanovski, 34, has gotten back in the win column since only his second career defeat and first inside the Octagon (26-2), earning a third round technical knockout against Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 in July 2023 (watch highlights). Meanwhile, Makhachev gets set for another rematch when he defends his 155-pound crown against the former champion, Charles Oliveira, at UFC 294 next month (Sat., Oct. 21, 2023).
At Featherweight, Volkanovski has one clear contender he can see himself mixing it up with before revisiting the Lightweight ranks. Aside from the surging Ilia Topuria, options are starting to wear thin.
“It’s a very, very stacked division,” Volkanovski said. “There’s a lot of good talent in there but I guess there’s no one really knocking on the door, right? Except for Ilia and I want that one. There’s probably been other people that have done more work to get a title shot but we’re starting to run out of guys. He’s on a tear, he’s undefeated. He likes to talk, he’s got a big following over there in Spain, in Europe. People want to see it and I want to see it. I can’t wait to take that zero.”