Alexander Volkanovski explains why he has “a lot of respect” for Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov

Alexander Volkanovski has offered his name to face either Charles Oliveira or Islam Makhachev if anything happens to them ahead of their UFC 280 lightweight title fight. In a new interview, Volkanovski shared his thoughts on how a fight against Makhachev.

Speaking to Daniel Cormier, Volkanovski practically referred to Makhachev and his trainer Khabib Nurmagomedov as one entity. He said:

“I respect [Islam] like one of, right now him and Khabib with their fight and their struggle, that’s why I feel like he’s doing the job. People think when they get to the striking part they always approach the striking safely, they’re not dumb, they’re not taking unnecessary risks.”

“They’re doing what needs to be done to find their way and doing what they do best and they don’t care what anyone says about it. And I think I have a lot of respect for that because “Once that boy catches you, it’s gonna be a tough day. But I believe I’m a tough man to hold and I’ve proven it.”

As for who he would rather face for the lightweight title, Alexander Volkanovski leaned towards Charles Oliveira because he saw a more important fight there. However, he admitted that he expected Islam Makhachev to leave UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi with the lightweight title.

Watch Alexander Volkanovski discuss Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev below:

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Alexander Volkanovski explains why he’s ready to step up and fight at UFC 280

With his latest one-sided victory over Max Holloway, Alexander Volkanovski is already in a position to move up to lightweight and compete for a second belt. But rather than sit on the sidelines and wait for Oliveira and Makhachev to fight so he can challenge the winner, ‘The Great’ is preparing to act as a backup fighter for UFC 280.

Volkanovski explained his reasoning to Daniel Cormier saying:

“I’m going to be fit enough and I’m going to have enough camp for my fitness and I’ll do it. That’s the kind of guy I am. Again, as I always say, I will make sure no one else deprives me of this opportunity. Because if someone else goes and does that, that means I’m gonna wait a little longer and I don’t want that. I’m happy to be sitting there and if someone doesn’t gain weight or get hurt I’ll slip.

With such a mindset, it’s no surprise that Volkanovski is unimpressed with the current crop of featherweight contenders refusing to challenge for an interim title as he pursues the glory of the two-time champion.

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