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Volkanovski wants to be backup fighter for Oliveira-Makhachev

Cooper Neill / UFC / Getty

UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski wasn't chosen for the upcoming vacant lightweight title fight, but he's willing to go to great lengths if it means a last-minute opportunity to compete for a second belt.

Volkanovski, who is still recovering from a broken thumb, said he wants to serve as a backup fighter for the UFC 280 title bout between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev in October.

"I'm telling them I want to be there. I'll be the backup," Volkanovski said in an interview with UFC commentator Daniel Cormier.

After dominating former champion Max Holloway in a featherweight title defense at UFC 276 in July, Volkanovski said he wanted a lightweight title shot next. This was before the UFC booked Oliveira-Makhachev for the Oct. 22 pay-per-view card. Volkanovski later said he would settle for facing the winner of that fight, ideally in early 2023 in his home continent of Australia.

But now, Volkanovski is willing to get into a training camp, travel to the United Arab Emirates, and make weight in case either Oliveira or Makhachev has to withdraw at the 11th hour.

"I'm going to be fit enough, I'm going to get enough of a camp to stay in good enough fitness, and I'll do it," Volkanovski said. "That's the type of guy I am.

"As I always say, I'll make sure no one else can take that opportunity away from me. If someone else goes and does that, then that puts me on the sidelines. Then I've got to wait even longer. I don't like that."

Volkanovski wants to be backup fighter for Oliveira-Makhachev
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