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Alexander Volkanovski confirms backup status for Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev at UFC 280: “We’re locked in”

Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is now the backup fighter for UFC 280’s headliner.

‘The Great’ has been out of action since his trilogy bout with Max Holloway at UFC 276 in July. In that outing, Volkanovski moved to 3-0 in his trilogy with the Hawaiian, as he won by unanimous decision.

Following the victory, the featherweight champion stated his intentions to move to 155-pounds. While he had no intention of relinquishing his title at 145-pounds, Volkanovski seemed ready for new challenges. Those new challenges come in the form of lightweights, such as Charles Oliveira.

Later this month in Abu Dhabi at UFC 280, the lightweight title will be on the line in the headliner. Former champion, ‘Do Bronx’ will meet the rising Islam Makhachev in the main event. It’ll be Oliveira’s first fight since defeating Justin Gaethje in May and losing his title on the scales.

In the event that something happens to one of the men fighting in the main event, the UFC has secured a backup. That backup fighter is none other than featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski. He has repeatedly called for the backup spot for months now.

A broken hand suffered in the trilogy bout with ‘Blessed’ put the backup fighter spot in jeopardy. The UFC even tabbed a backup, for the backup, as Beneil Dariush already revealed. Thankfully, the Iranian’s service will not be needed, as Volkanovski revealed on his YouTube channel.

Alexander Volkanovski, Max Holloway
Image Credit: @UFC/Instagram

“Yeah, so we’re locked in as the backup fighter,” stated Volkanovski on his YouTube channel. “I’ve been calling for it, I said I wanted it. I just had to make sure the hand was all good, so, we’re all good. We’re locked in, we’ve got the clearance to fight, the UFC is on board, everyone is on board.”

He continued, “I’ll be at UFC 280 to make weight, and I’m looking forward to it. We’ll see what happens. If someone doesn’t make it, I’m there to save the day. If not, I’m locked in as the next guy to fight for the lightweight title, and that’s that.”

While Alexander Volkanovski might feel locked in as the next lightweight title challenger, some might disagree. Both Michael Chandler, and Beneil Dariush have called for title opportunities if they win their next fights.

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