Alexander Volkanovski

Alexander Volkanovski reveals he will be the backup fighter for UFC 280 main event lightweight title fight

The UFC may have their insurance policy in place in case anything goes wrong for the UFC 280 lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. Reigning UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski announced on social media and his YouTube channel on Monday that he is “locked in” to be the backup fighter in case someone needs to be replaced.

On his channel, Volkanovski, who has discussed his desire to become a two-weight champion also made it known that he has been medically cleared from a recent hand surgery.

“We’re locked in as  a backup fighter. I’ve been calling it, I said I wanted it, just had to make sure the hand was all good, so we’re all good. We’re locked in and we got the clearance to fight.”

There has currently been no confirmation or announcement from the UFC about Alexander Volkanovski serving as the backup, but the champion claimed the promotion is on board.

“The UFC is on board. Everyone is on board. So I’ll be at UFC 280 to make weight and yeah, looking forward to it. We’ll see what happens. 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.”

Since entering the UFC back in 2016, Volkanovski has been undefeated with the promotion, has only one loss in his professional career, and is currently riding a 23-fight winning streak. If he were to step in and fight for the lightweight title, the 145-pound champion would look to become the fifth fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two separate divisions at the same time.

The main event for UFC 280 is between former champion Charles Oliveira and top contender Islam Makhachev for the vacant lightweight title. The title was vacated after Oliveira was stripped of his title prior to his fight at UFC 274 against Justin Gaethje where he missed weight, but went on to win the fight by first-round submission.

A longtime student and training partner of former undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev will compete for a title for the first time in his career and arguably face the toughest challengest of his career in Oliveira. Currently, Makhachev is riding a 10-fight winning streak and will look to continue on the legacy of Nurmagomedov who is one of his main coaches.

Just a few weeks ago Nurmagomedov speculated that Oliveira would not make it to the UFC 280 main event and that the UFC would make Makhachev vs Beneil Dariush for the title fight.

There could be some questions about Volkanovski’s place as the backup fighter to the main event as he has yet to compete in the lightweight division and the placement of Beneil Dariush on the same card. Dariush is currently on a 7-fight winning streak and is ranked 6th in the division. Dariush also claimed recently that he would serve as the backup fighter, but it appears the UFC may have gone in a different direction.

If the plans are set and either Charles Oliveira or Islam Makhachev are forced to miss the UFC 280 main event, Alexander Volkanovski could come in and make history if he were to be victorious as the backup.

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