Alexander Volkanovski admits it’s “crazy” to fight Islam Makhachev on just 11 days’ notice as he prepares for a rematch with the lightweight champion.
The featherweight king, Volkanovski, was narrowly outpointed by Makhachev in February while challenging for the Russian’s title. Now, he will have a chance to avenge that loss on 21 October in the new main event of UFC 294.
Makhachev was originally set for a rematch with Charles Oliveira, but Oliveira was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a severe cut over his right eye.
Volkanovski, who last fought in July and retained his featherweight title by stopping Yair Rodriguez, underwent surgery on a broken hand and was expected to be out of action until January. However, he has decided to take on the challenge of facing Makhachev again.
“This is obviously a pretty crazy thing to do. There’s probably not many fighters out there who would do this, especially in my position, but I always say that I will do these things; I am that guy that will do any time, anywhere, any weight – whatever it is. This is an opportunity to prove that once again against a tough, game opponent,” Volkanovski said on his YouTube channel.
Volkanovski is excited about the fight, despite the short notice. He believes that he is the right man for the job and that he can shock the world. He acknowledges that not many people would take on a fight with just 12 days’ notice, but he is confident in his abilities and is ready to prove himself once again.
The co-main event of UFC 294 also underwent a late change, with Kamaru Usman replacing Paulo Costa against Khamzat Chimaev. Costa had to withdraw from the bout due to elbow surgery, and Usman will now make his debut at 185lbs against Chimaev.
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