‘He’s A Short Guy’

MMA news

Reigning featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is preparing to fight at the UFC 280 pay-per-view (PPV) event in case something happens to either headliner, but even if “The Great” does not replace Islam Makhachev or Charles Oliveira, the promotion is expected to grant him a lightweight title shot in early 2023.

UFC 284 is booked for the Aussie’s backyard on Feb. 12.

LIVE! Watch UFC 280 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

BLOCKBUSTER LIGHTWEIGHT SHOWDOWN! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Etihad Arena In Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Sat., Oct. 22, 2022, featuring a highly anticipated match up for the vacant 155-pound title between former division kingpin, Charles Oliveira, against Islam Makhachev, who enter “Fight Island” with a combined 21-fight unbeaten run. In UFC 280’s ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, Bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling defends his title against former two-time division roost-ruler, T.J. Dillashaw. Last, and certainly not least, former 135-pound champion, Petr Yan, will lock horns with superstar in the making, “Sugar” Sean O’Malley.

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“Honestly, I met Volkanovski downstairs – he’s a short guy,” Makhachev said during the UFC 280 media day (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “I ask him why you need to cut weight right now? But if I beat Volkanovski people are going to say [I beat a smaller opponent] but people are always going to talk. I went to Australia one time. I can go again. [Volkanovski] is going to be a good fight. Always when the champion from other divisions fights with other champions, it’s a big fight and very interesting fight for all fans.”

Volkanovski will try to succeed where his teammate failed.

“I think if I had to lean towards someone it would have to be Islam,” the featherweight champion said on his YouTube channel. “No disrespect to Charles because Charles has proved himself, but I just think stylistically that’s maybe how I see it going. Either late finish, whether it’s kimura, armbar, arm triangle, that type of stuff, or decision. Charles is the underdog as the champion. He’s proven himself, obviously, but I can still see why he’s maybe the underdog. A lot of people think that’s disrespectful, I don’t think it is. I think maybe they’re just looking at Islam being able to control him.”

We’ll find out this Sat. (Oct. 22) at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 280 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 10 a.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPNews at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 280: “Oliveira vs. Makhachev” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the complete UFC 280 fight card and PPV line up click here.

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