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Alexander Volkanovski Fires Back At Islam Makhachev: "If Roles Were Reversed, This Fight Isn't Happening"

UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski will be targeting two-division glory at the second time of asking this weekend in Abu Dhabi.

Volkanovski, who has ruled over the 145-pound landscape since 2019, fell short of a second belt this past February. In front of his home fans in Perth, Australia, “Alexander the Great” narrowly suffered defeat on the scorecards against lightweight kingpin Islam Makhachev.

Fast forward eight months and Volkanovski is currently gearing up for an unexpected opportunity to exact revenge on the Dagestani. The chance came about just last week after original challenger Charles Oliveira withdrew from UFC 294 owing to a cut suffered in training.

Given the short-notice nature of the bout, Volkanovski will once again enter a contest against Makhachev as an underdog and with plenty counting him out. The Aussie isn’t, however, going to receive any sympathy from the champ when it comes to the late call-up.

Following the opponent switch, Makhachev took to social media with a message to Volkanovski. The reigning titleholder warned his rival not to use limited preparation time as an excuse should he lose once again.

Volkanovski Hits Back At Makhachev With A Stern Reminder

During his appearance at UFC 294 media day on Wednesday, Volkanovski made note of Makhachev’s message and responded with a firm reminder.

The Australian insisted that his opponent would never accept a fight in the circumstances he has for this weekend’s pay-per-view. That’s something Volkanovski believes Makhachev should remember before he dismisses the challenge such short notice can present. 

“I guarantee you there’s not many fighters that are gonna do this. You heard Islam say, ‘No excuses,’ and things like this,” Volkanovski said. “Put it this way, one hundred percent, if the roles were reversed, this fight is not happening, I don’t care what anyone says. He’s not fighting on 12 days’ notice, so he needs to remember that.”

Nevertheless, despite the late-notice scenario, Volkanovski is still confident of completing the feat he failed to achieve eight months ago by bare margins.

Should “Alexander the Great” successfully achieve that come fight night inside the Etihad Arena on October 21, the accomplishment will no doubt go down as perhaps the greatest ‘champ-champ’ triumph the UFC has seen.

Ready to run the rematch 👊🎮

The #UFC294 Artist Series poster is here! Grab the design now from the @UFCStore

[ 🎨 via @Ryokkes_Draw2 | @InAbuDhabi | #InAbuDhabi | @VisitAbuDhabi ]

— UFC (@ufc) October 17, 2023

Read Also: Khabib Nurmagomedov: Islam Makhachev ‘More Motivated’ For Alexander Volkanovski Rematch Than He Was With Charles Oliveira

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