Alexander Volkanovski accuses Islam Makhachev of running from UFC 294 rematch: ‘You don’t want the smoke’

Alexander Volkanovski claims Islam Makhachev in running from UFC 294 title rematch

Set for a six week recovery period following a recent surgical procedure to address a long-standing elbow injury, undisputed featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski has accused rival, Islam Makhachev from “running” from a potential title rematch at UFC 294 in October. 

Volkanovski, the recently-minted pound-for-pound number one, managed to retain the featherweight crown for the fifth time at UFC 290 earlier this month, landing a third round ground strikes TKO win over interim gold holder, Yair Rodríguez to successfully unify the featherweight titles.

The victory propelled Volkanovski back to the winner’s enclosure following a close unanimous decision loss to the aforenoted, Makhachev at UFC 284 back in February in Perth, Australia – seeing his promotional-perfect run come to an end.

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And weighing up a potential title rematch with the Russian atop a UFC 294 card in October in the Middle East, Volkanovski has accused the former of “running” from a potential title rematch, after Makhachev suggested a welterweight championship clash with Leon Edwards for the event as he searches for an elusive opponent.

“You running brotha, you don’t want this smoke,” Alexander Volkanovski tweeted in response to Islam Makhachev.

Earmarked to headline the promotion’s return to the Etihad Arena in October, Makhachev was expected to fight former lightweight titleholder, Charles Oliveira at the event, however, the Brazilian confirmed that a niggling injury would prevent him from a return at UFC 294.

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Yet to be paired for the pay-per-view headliner, Makhachev called for a welterweight title siege against Birmingham native, Edwards in the desert overnight. 

Islam Makhachev urges Alexander Volkanovski to fight him at UFC 294

And appearing to deny claims that he is running from the long-awaited title rematch, Makhachev urged New South Wales native to actually pen a deal to meet him in October.

“Take the fight then,” Islam Makhachev tweeted at Alexander Volkanovski.