Alexander Volkanovski doesn’t plan to abandon the featherweight division — the weight class he’s dominated for years — after he wins the lightweight title at UFC 284, telling TMZ Sports he’s committed to being active across both divisions.
We talked to the UFC’s featherweight champion/#1 pound-for-pound fighter ahead of his highly anticipated main event fight against Islam Makhachev, lightweight champ, in Perth, Australia … as Volk attempts to be the latest double-champ.
Historically, champ-champs have not been able to defend both belts, something Alex is adamant he’ll do.
“I made a promise that I’ll keep both divisions busy and I’m a man of my word. I’ve always been a man of my word and that’s just who I am and that’s what I plan on doing.”
“Obviously, you never know what happens, right? You break bones and all that type of stuff. I mean, I want to be active. I want 2023 to be active and this is the year that will define my legacy. This is the one that everyone’s gonna be talking about. This is what I really want so I need to be active. So I want to do both divisions. I really do. I said I was gonna do it and I’m gonna try my best to actually do that.”
Now, beating Islam is easier said than done. He’s right behind AV when it comes to the P4P list, and he’s been nothing short of dominant on his way to the 155-pound title.
But, Volkanovski believes he has the blueprint to win the fight … but readily admits if he employs the wrong gameplan, he could lose.
“If I have the wrong strategy, if I do things wrong, [Islam] could win. He could get a decision. He could submit you. So you need to fight a great, great fight and you need to capitalize on the feet. You’re gonna see me really, really wanna capitalize on the feet.”
Often, fighters don’t want to reveal their strategy … Volk isn’t the average fighter. He flat out says he’s looking for the knockout.
“You’re gonna see me really go and get him on the feet. Really go for it, really try to take that head clean off, you know what I mean? And look for that chin and do what I need to do. I need to capitalize on the feet so I really do believe that I can get the finish.”
We also talked to Alex about his ascension to the top of the pound-for-pound list, if he would ever go up to welterweight on the quest to be the UFC’s first-ever triple champ, and much more.
Check out the clip! Fights go down Saturday night on ESPN+!