Alexander Volkanovsky is set to unify his featherweight belt with interim champion Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 on July 8 in Las Vegas. But that doesn’t mean he has given up on a rematch with lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.
In fact, although Volkanovsky is busy preparing for Rodriguez, he has one eye on Makhachev and becoming a two-division champion.
He tried to accomplish that feat at UFC 284 in February, but failed, losing by unanimous decision to Makhachev. Volkanovski would have tried again, but chose to remain active rather than wait for another shot at the lightweight belt.
Alexander Volkanovsky wants to be an active champion
“I wanted to be active. I told you that,” Volkanovsky said in a video on his YouTube channel. “I (was asked) after (the first fight with Makhachev), do I want to wait around for a rematch, do I want to fight at featherweight, what do I want to do?
“I go, I don’t want to wait around. Because he said, ‘Do you want to wait? The only thing is if you wait for that fight, it might not happen until the end of the year. ‘ We don’t know when this fight is happening, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon.
Makhachev is currently targeted for a return to the Octagon when the UFC returns to Abu Dhabi this fall. The promotion is expected to take place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on 21 October.
“I’m not waiting,” Volkanovsky continued. “I would rather have a rematch at the end of the year, whenever that happens, than a featherweight fight. Whenever that fight may happen, that fight will always be there. I want to be active and I told you I want to be active and I’m not lying. This is proof of that.”
He wants to capture and defend both belts
If Volkanovsky is successful against Rodriguez and then has another fight with Makhachev, potentially capturing two belts, he intends to defend both. The UFC has been reluctant to allow most dual-division champions to hang onto both belts for long periods of time, as it usually slows down the pace of title fights in one division or the other, but Volkanovsky insists that This will not happen to him.
He said, “When I get that lightweight belt, you know I’m going to keep both of those divisions busy.” “A lot of people were like, ‘How are you going to do it?’ I’m gonna do it like this. I’m going to do it like this.
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