Alexander Volkanovski will be the UFC 280 Main Event Backup
UFC featherweight champion and the No. 1 pound-for-pound-fighter in the world, Alexander Volkanovski, announced Monday that he will serve as the backup for the UFC 280 main event. A lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev is the scheduled main event.
The role of backup fighter is simple. In this case, Volkanovski will fly to Abu Dhabi for UFC 280 and weigh in as if he is fighting. If Oliveira or Makhachev are unable to compete, Volkanovski will step in and fight.
“We’re locked in as the backup fighter,” Volkanovski said. “I’ve been calling for it, I said I wanted it. I just had to make sure the hand was all good. We’re all good, got the clearance to fight.
“The UFC’s on board, everyone’s on board so I’ll be at UFC 280 to make weight and looking forward to it.”Quote via MMA Fighting
Backup fighters can help the UFC avoid issues at pay-per-view events. Over the past year, there have been two scenarios that would have resulted in the backup stepping in. The first, was when Oliveira missed weight at UFC 274 which made the event a non-title bout. Volkanosvki’s presence at UFC 280 will ensure this does not happen again. The second issue took place when Khamzat Chimaev missed weight and UFC 279 and made a fool of himself. Neither event had a backup fighter in place.
If Volkanovski is forced into action at UFC 280, he will have the opportunity to make history. As the featherweight champion, winning the lightweight title at UFC 280 would make Volkanovski the fifth simultaneous double champion in UFC history.
If Volkanovski does not fight at UFC 280, this move ensures that he will be next in line to fight the winner.
“Let’s see what happens,” Volkanovski said. “If someone doesn’t make it, I’m there to save the day. If not, at least I’m locked in as the next guy to fight for that lightweight title and that’s that.”Quote via MMA Fighting
If Volkanovski does get the lightweight title fight he deserves, it will likely take place at UFC 284. UFC 284 is targeted for February 2023 in Perth, Australia. With Volkanovski being the only Australian champion at the moment, it is likely he will headline the event.