Alex Volkanovski has called for a rematch with lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, provided Volkanovski can defend his title against Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 this weekend.
On the MMA Hour, the featherweight champ said that if he can defend his title against Rodriguez, a bout against Makhachev in Abu Dhabi in October could be in his future.
‘Let’s be real, everyone wants that rematch. I want it, whether Islam wants it, I know the UFC want it. Got to see exactly what’s going to happen but that’s definitely something I want to do. I want to be active. Bring it on.’ Volkanovski said.
Despite looking towards future match ups, the Windang local says he is not underestimating his upcoming opponent.
‘It doesn’t get much more dangerous than Yair so he’s got my full attention…this isn’t just another fight.’
‘Can I go out there and make this look easy? Yes, I can. I can go out there and make it look easy. Does that mean he’s not dangerous? No, he’s very dangerous, but I’m very well prepared and I’m ready to go out there and show everyone why I’m the man.’
A possible future match up with rising featherweight Ilia Tapuria was also discussed, although the champ did admit he is unsure of the Spanish fighter’s ability at the higher levels of the division.
‘Fresh blood would be incredible…without disrespecting the bloke, I don’t want him to face anyone else, especially Yair. Let’s say I take out Yair this weekend, he faces Yair, I don’t want that to happen. I look at Yair as a much bigger threat and a way more dangerous fight to be quite honest.’ Said Volkanovski.
‘I know he’d talk a little bit of trash so that would make it fun, and I know I’d give him a good whooping…I’ve got Yair to worry about but after that what is it? Is it gonna be Islam? Is it going to be Ilia? I want to be active.’
Speaking about a possible match up for October 10th at UFC 293 in Sydney, Volkanovski admitted he’s unsure if his timeline would allow for him to fight in his home state.
‘Of course I’d love to be on that card. There’s a few obstacles there. Obviously making sure you don’t have any injuries, making sure you’ve got the opponent for it. My missus is pregnant, she’s due on the 8th which is two days before. We’ve been looking into it…there’s a few hurdles there but you never know.’
Volkanovski is set to take on interim featherweight champion Yair Rodriguez in the main event of UFC 290 this Sunday (AEST) broadcasting live from Las Vegas.