Alexander Volkanovski responds to Beneil Dariush over UFC 280 backup claims: “I’m not playing any games… I’m getting paid for this”

By Cole Shelton - October 13, 2022

Alexander Volkanovski has responded to Beneil Dariush over who the backup fighter for the UFC 280 lightweight title fight is.

Alexander Volkanovski, Beneil Dariush

When it was announced Charles Oliveira would face Islam Makhachev for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 280, a critical 155lbs bout between Beneil Dariush and Mateusz Gamrot was also added to the card. With that, many thought Dariush would be the backup fighter which he said his manager confirmed to him, but that won’t be the case.

Instead, the featherweight champion in Volkanovski announced he would be the backup fighter which stunned Dariush. He was confused by it and wanted to get to the bottom of it, and now Volkanovski has responded to him and cleared the air on it.

“If he’s watching, I’m not playing any games,” Volkanovski said Wednesday on The MMA Hour of the UFC 280 backup booking. “Maybe they did tell you you could be very early, whether this was a couple of months ago, whether his manager had that conversation saying that you will be, and he just assumed he was and hasn’t looked into it since, I don’t know. But my corners are being flown up. I’m getting paid for this, all that type of stuff. It’s locked in. I’m not playing any games.”

According to Alexander Volkanovski, it was his idea for him to be the backup fighter and he told the UFC of his plans. The plan is for Volkanovski to be the backup fighter so that secures him as the next title challenger and allows him to face the winner of the UFC 280 title fight.

“I don’t think many people in my position would do what I’m doing,” Volkanovski said. “I didn’t want to just walk up and have everybody go, ‘What’s going on?’ I wanted them to know that, anything happens, I’m going to be there to save the day, or I’m going anyway. Either I’m going to have to step in, or I get to watch some good fights at UFC 280. If anything, I didn’t tell them, ‘I want to wait, you should give me this.’ I told them, ‘I want to be backup.’ They didn’t tell me to do this, I told them.”

Do you think Alexander Volkanovski should’ve been the backup fighter for UFC 280?


Alex Volkanovski Beneil Dariush UFC