UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is set as the official alternate for UFC 280’s lightweight title fight.
The Australian was given the all-clear to begin competing recently after a hand injury sustained in his trilogy bout opposite Max Holloway left him sidelined in the months since. He’ll now fly to Abu Dhabi ahead of the event to serve as a backup should either Islam Makhachev or Charles Oliveira withdraw from the headline bout.
“We’re locked in as the backup fighter,” Volkanovski said in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel. “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.”
The AllStar MMA roundup
- UFC Vegas 62: Mike Jackson eyes a statement finish after ‘cheating ass’ Dean Barry sullied prior win
- UFC Vegas 62: Brandon Davis: The fighter who scrapped his way back into the UFC on one good knee
- Breakdown: Islam Makhachev is like Khabib Nurmagomedov but with better striking, says Matt Frevola
The best of the rest
- UFC Returns to Australia for UFC 284 in Perth – UFC.com
- RIZIN interested in Floyd Mayweather vs. Nate Diaz megafight: ‘We do think it’s a great idea’ – MMAFighting.com
- Scott Coker: Fedor Emelianenko ‘has his bullseye on Ryan Bader’ for retirement fight, but Anderson Silva would be ‘unbelievable’ – MMAFighting.com
- Leon Edwards says Kamaru Usman trilogy has to happen in his backyard: ‘It’s on my terms now’ – MMAJunkie.com
- Henry Cejudo says if anyone can beat Charles Oliveira it’s Islam Makhachev: ‘Wrestling can be your safety net’ – BloodyElbow.com
Petr and Aljo getting along warms the heart:
Terrance McKinney isn’t letting Paddy off the chain:
Paulo dogs Schaub:
Bellator and Rizin look to be in business together again:
Some interesting numbers, if you like that sort of stuff:
The morning view
JHK chops it up with Joe Henle of Tiger Muay Thai:
Anatomy of a fighter’s Prelude to UFC 280 episode 2:
Chael Sonnen on the ground game between Islam and Charles:
None to note
- Geoff Neal will fight Shavkat Rakhmonov at UFC Vegas 67 on January 14th (per Brett Okamoto)
- Paul Craig to fight Johnny Walker at UFC 283 on January 21st (per AG. Fight)
- Jailton Almeida will fight Maxim Grishin at UFC Vegas 64 on November 5th (per Laerte Viana)
- Joanderson Brito replaces M. Baghdasaryan to fight Lucas Alexander at UFC Vegas 62 on October 15th (per Nolan King)
On this day in MMA…
On the 11th of October, 1997, the inaugural Pride FC event was held in Tokyo, Japan drawing close to 50, 000 spectators, numbers the UFC could only dream of at the time (and still rarely pulls today).
The organization’s first card featured seven bouts scheduled for one 30-minute round, save for the main event which was split into two rounds, 20 minutes in the first, and 10 in the second.
Featuring names such as Gary Goodrich, Dan Severn, Kimo Leopoldo, Rickson and Renzo Gracie and Oleg Taktarov, the debut event was a massive success in Japan and drew much media attention, leading to the organization receiving a local network TV deal.
The promotion would run up until 2007, after which it was bought by the UFC’s parent company Zuffa, and dissolved shortly after due to difficulties Dana White ran into trying to operate in Japan.
“I’ve pulled everything out of the trick box that I can and I can’t get a TV deal over there with Pride. I don’t think they want us there. I don’t think they want me there,” White said of the decision.