UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski hasa chance to achieve double-champ status. If Lady Luck shines favorably upon him, it might just happen at UFC 280 on Saturday, Oct. 22. The pay-per-view event is headlined by for the vacant UFC lightweight championship, and Volkanovski announced on Monday that he will serve as backup for the main event in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Should Oliveira or Makhachev miss weight on fight week or pull out in advance of the card, Volkanovski will step in. That means the reigning UFC featherweight champion will go through a fight camp and weigh in with no guarantee that he will fight at UFC 280.
"We're locked in as the backup fighter," Volkanovski said in a video posted to social media. "I've been calling for it, I said I wanted it. I just had to make sure the hand was all good. We're all good, got the clearance to fight.
"The UFC's on board, everyone's on board so I'll be at UFC 280 to make weight and looking forward to it."
Volkanovski also suggested that he is next in line for the UFC lightweight title even if he does not compete at UFC 280.
"Let's see what happens," Volkanovski said. "If someone doesn't make it, I'm there to save the day. If not, at least I'm locked in as the next guy to fight for that lightweight title and that's that."
More UFC news, rumors
- Leon Edwards is the champ, and he is not about to let Kamaru Usman forget it. Edwards claimed the title from Usman in one of the most shocking come-from-behind moments in MMA history at UFC 278. Heading into an expected trilogy fight, Edwards insists the rubber match take place in the U.K. "It's in Wembley, bro," Edwards said in an interview with Troopz TV. "We're going back to the states. I'm not going over (to the U.S.) now. I did my job. I went over to (Usman's) backyard and took it off him, so now he has to come to my backyard. I'm not going over there again. It's on my terms now. He has to come over here... They said early next year, March-ish."
- UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling is not expecting a clean opponent at UFC 280. Sterling defends his title against T.J. Dillashaw, the latter of whom was forced to relinquish the bantamweight title in March 2019 after testing positive for banned substances. "I already made peace with it that I'm going to be fighting a guy that's more than likely ... if there were odds I would say about 90% this guy is finding another way to cheat, even if it's some type of micro-dosing or however that stuff works," Sterling told MMA Fighting. "I already made peace with that, there's a chance that I'm going to be fighting a guy that's already souped up. I think a lot of guys I fought in the past have been on some shit anyways so this isn't going to be any different."
- Sean O'Malley is ready to level up. There are stark contrasts in their approaches but the parallels are visible between brash, tatted-up strikers O'Malley and Conor McGregor. O'Malley expects to bring the "Suga Show" into superstardom with a win over Petr Yan at UFC 280. "People want a superstar. There's really no one in the UFC right now that is that Conor level. Me, I go out there and beat Petr in spectacular fashion, I'm climbing. I'm not going to be there yet, and I know that, but I'm climbing to become that guy. I want to be the Conor, I don't want it to be competitive to where it's like, 'You're up there with this.' I want to be that guy," O'Malley told ESPN's "DC & RC" show. "And I think the UFC fans want that. They want somebody that they can get super, super excited about, so most people think I'm going to lose but I think the majority of people want me to go out there and win, which is rare. I don't usually think that, but I do think in this case that's what it is."