Alexander Volkanovski Targets 2023 UFC Lightweight Title Pursuit In Australia Homecoming

Alexander Volkanovski
Mandatory Credit: James Gilbert

Recovering from a fractured hand suffered in his UFC 276 co-headlining win against former featherweight champion, Max Holloway, reigning division champion, Alexander Volkanovski has confirmed he will likely sit out until a proposed Australia event lands for the UFC in 2023 – as he hopes to pursue a lightweight title fight.

Alexander Vokanovski, who turned in his third career win against former featherweight titleholder, Holloway earlier this month on July 2. – handed the Hawaiin standout a one-sided unanimous decision loss in Las Vegas, Nevada – scoring his fourth successful defense of the undisputed featherweight crown.

Off the back of his shutout victory, however, Volkanovski offered to challenge for lightweight gold in the future, eyeing double-champion status under the banner of the organization.

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The New South Wales technician also offered to fight for the lightweight crown upon the culmination of October’s UFC 280 headliner between former champion, Charles Oliveira, and contender, Islam Makhachev – with the duo competing for vacant spoils

Over the course of last weekend, the lie of the featherweight land failed to become much clearer following UFC Long Island, with Yair Rodriguez landing a TKO victory over Brian Ortega, after the latter suffered a dislocated shoulder in the closing stages of their opening round main event.

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Alexander Volkanovski reveals the UFC are targeting a 2023 return to Australia

Sharing his thoughts on the introduction of an interim title to his division – potentially featuring Rodriguez and the surging heavy-hitter, Josh Emmett – Alexander Volkanovski revealed the UFC are currently targeting an Australia landing pad for the first quarter of next year. And he wants to headline that card in a lightweight title pursuit.

“They’re (the UFC) looking at coming to Australia in the early quarter of the year – the first quarter of the year, next year,” Alexander Volkanovski told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I need to defend my belt and I need to fight in Australia. Whether I try squeeze something in before that, or that’s just me rushing things. …” 

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“The UFC would be very happy to have me headline a card over there,” Alexander Volkanovski explained. “That’s probably what will happen, you know. Me fighting for the lightweight title in that early quarter of the year.” 

Before his victory over Holloway earlier this month, Volkanovski turned in another dominant bludgeoning of Chan Sung Jung earlier this year, as well as defeating the aforenoted Ortega following a rematch title knockback success against Holloway to boot. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.