Alexander Volkanovski was “all good” after receiving UFC 294 short-notice call

By Zain Bando - October 20, 2023

Ahead of his short-notice rematch with Islam Makhachev, Alexander Volkanovski sat down with the NELK Boys to discuss how the fight came together and if there was any hesitation in accepting.

Alexander Volkanovski and UFC 5

Answer — there was not.

Volkanovski, who has held the UFC featherweight title since Dec. 2019, said he knew career-defining opportunities like this are rare and had no choice but to accept a second crack at Makhachev.

”I’m like, ‘I don’t know man,” Alexander Volkanovski’ said. “Like, obviously it’s an opportunity.’ It was pretty much, ‘Let me talk to Jo.’ Because I was on board, but I had to obviously talk to Jo, my wife. My wife had a smile on her face. Straight away, Jo was all good with it. Rang back Ash [my manager], and my manager said, ‘Yeah, everyone’s on board. Let’s do it.’”

And, on 11 days notice, Alexander Volkanovski accepted. The fight was official. The rematch was on, even if it was earlier than anticipated.

RELATED: UFC 294: ‘Makhachev vs. Volkanovski 2’ Live Results and Highlights

For Volkanovski, these last-minute call-ups are nothing new, as he served as a backup for the Charles Oliveira-Makhachev fight at UFC 280 in Oct. 2022. As noted, Volkanovski’s services weren’t needed.

“To say I can’t keep two divisions busy, I’ve literally been the guy here to fight [as a backup] for over a year now,” Alexander Volkanovski said. “So, you’re telling me I can’t do it. I literally proved that [I can].”

The rematch with Makhachev is Volkanovski’s third fight of 2023, as he successfully moved back down to featherweight and beat Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 prior to getting the short-notice opportunity.

Alexander Volkanovski’s only UFC blemish is from Makhachev, as he has defeated the likes of Max Holloway (x3), Brian Ortega and Chad Mendes during his illustrious run in the promotion.

Volkanovski will look to join names like Amanda Nunes, Randy Couture, Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier to win a belt in two different divisions.

What are your thoughts on Volkanovski’s mindset entering UFC 294? Let us know, Penn Nation!


Alex Volkanovski UFC 294