UFC 280: Alex Volkanovski eyes double-champion status after announcing reserve role for lightweight title

Alex Volkanovski has declared his ambition to become a double UFC champion after announcing he would be the back-up for the main event lightweight title fight at UFC 280.

Already the UFC featherweight champion, Volkanovski could add the lightweight crown to his growing legacy if one of Charles Oliveira or Islam Makhachev pulls out of the main event in Abu Dhabi on October 22.

Volkanovski, who has won 23 consecutive fights, revealed he would be waiting in the wings at UFC 280 via his YouTube channel and stated that his previously broken hand had fully healed.

MORE: Alex Volkanovski’s next fight: Will the UFC featherweight champion chase two belts? | Alex Volkanovski ends Max Holloway rivalry in decisive fashion at UFC 276

“We’re locked in as a backup fighter – I’ve been calling for it and said I wanted it,” Volkanovski said.

“I just had to make sure the hand was all good.

“We are all good. We are locked in. We got the clearance to fight, the UFC is on board, everyone is on board.

“I’ll be at UFC 280 to make weight and looking forward to it. Let’s see what happens.

“If someone doesn’t make it, I’m there to save the day.

“If I’m not, then at least I’m locked in as the next guy to fight for that lightweight title and that’s that.”

Volkanovski hinted at his presence at the UAE event a couple of days ago with a cryptic tweet to Makhachev, which was in response to the Russian’s post about Oliveira not yet arriving in the Middle East nation.

Oliveira was the lightweight champion prior to UFC 274 but was stripped of the belt for missing weight at the May event – meaning the bout with Makhachev is for a currently vacant lightweight title.

Volkanovski last fought in July at UFC 276 when he defeated Max Holloway for a third time to retain the UFC featherweight title despite breaking his hand early the fight.

In one of the most highly-anticipated fights of 2022, it was the Australian who proved to be far too strong, earning himself a dominant unanimous decision win and leaving the challenger bloodied. 

All three judges scored the contest 50-45 inside a packed T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. 

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