Alexander Volkanovski has a lot on the line at UFC 294


Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski stepped up on 12 days notice to take on lightweight titleholder Islam Makhachev in the UFC 294 main event.  Some people believe Volkanovski has nothing to lose in the situation, but “The Great” has a lot on the line this weekend.  

“It’s opportunities to be great.  There is a lot of risk, but as they say, high risk, high reward.  That’s how I look at it,” Volkanovski said during the UFC 294 Media Day.  

“This whole nothing to lose thing is silly.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lot of pressure on Islam and I understand that,” said Volkanovski.  “If I were to lose, my legacy takes a big hit.  I don’t get another shot at him.  I don’t get another shot, probably, at the lightweight title.”

Volkanovski lost to Makhachev at UFC 284 in their first fight via unanimous decision, but the fight was close.  Some even scored Volkanovski winning.  

There’s still a lot to lose for me,” he said.  “I think he takes a big hit with a loss, to his legacy, losing to someone who is obviously the featherweight champ, the division below, coming in on 12 days notice.  There’s a lot of pressure on him.  No pressure’s on me.  I’m not letting there be any pressure, but there’s still a lot to lose for me, so I don’t want people acting like me doing this is a no brainer.  I guarantee there’s not many fighters going to do this… If the roles were reversed, this fight is not happening.  I don’t care what anyone says.  He’s not fighting on 12 days notice, so he needs to remember that.” 

Related: Kamaru Usman addresses rumors about his knee ahead of UFC 294

Volkanovski admittedly wouldn’t have agreed to step in if it were any other opponent.   

“This is an opportunity where I can get that rematch and do something great.  That’s how I’m looking at this.  If this were any other fight, probably not.  It wouldn’t interest me.  This interests me.  There’s history.  There’s this rivalry.  There’s a lot of talk already from the first fight.  This fight needs to happen and we’re doing it on 12 days notice.”


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