Alexander Volkanovski reveals he passed up rematch with Islam Makhachev to stay active: “I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do”

By Josh Evanoff - April 20, 2023

UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is all about activity.

Islam Makhachev, Alexander Volkanovski

‘The Great’ has been out of the cage since his move to lightweight in February. Volkanovski jumped to 155 pounds to face the newly crowned champion, Islam Makhachev. The Russian dominated Charles Oliveira last October to win the gold but didn’t have as easy of a time with the featherweight champion.

The two champions put on a show in the main event of UFC 284, going back and forth for all five rounds. At the end of the contest, it was Makhachev who earned the win by a controversial unanimous decision. While the defeat snapped Volkanovski’s 22-fight winning streak, it didn’t feel that way, as many felt he deserved the judges’ nod.

Nonetheless, Alexander Volkanovski called for an immediate rematch with Islam Makhachev following the fight. While that seemed to be the direction the promotion was heading towards, that isn’t the case anymore. Volkanovski is now expected to face Yair Rodriguez in his return to the featherweight division in July.

In a recent interview with The Mac Life, the featherweight champion discussed why the rematch wasn’t happening. There, Volkanovski revealed the fight with ‘El Pantera’ was his decision. He knew that he had the chance to sit and wait for a rematch with Makhachev, but decided to remain active instead.

Alexander Volkanovski, Islam Makhachev

Alexander Volkanovski discusses Islam Makhachev rematch

“That’s a tricky one because you have [Beneil] Dariush, but that rematch needs to happen,” Alexander Volkanovski stated in the interview. “We need to make that happen, so I guess it’s a tricky one, we just need to see how things go. Me, I just want to remain active, that’s the big thing for me. I’m not the one to wait around, I know I could eventually get it. But what am I going to do? Just sit around and wait until, that’s just not me.”

He continued, “I’ll get my fights and do what I’ve got to do. Yeah, that rematch definitely needs to happen, we’ll make that happen. I’ll just do my thing in July and see what happens from there.”

What do you make of these comments? Do you want to see Alexander Volkanovski vs. Islam Makhachev 2? Sound off in the comment section below PENN Nation!


Alex Volkanovski Islam Makhachev UFC UFC 290