Undisputed featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski has confirmed he rejected the opportunity to fight lightweight kingpin, Islam Makhachev in a rematch of their UFC 284 title showdown back in February – in a bid to remain active himself.
Volkanovski, a featherweight champion under the promotion’s banner, is slated to headline UFC 290 during International Fight Week in July – taking on interim division champion, Yair Rodrîguez in a title unification fight.
However, featuring once already earlier this year, the Australian headlined UFC 284 in Perth on home soil, suffering his first promotional loss in the form of a unanimous decision defeat against undisputed lightweight kingpin, Makhachev.
Alexander Volkanovski reveals he rejected a rematch with Islam Makhachev
With both fighters immediately noting their interest in an immediate championship re-run at the lightweight limit, Volkanovski claims the UFC had approached him with the opportunity to fight the Russian once again, however, he elected to reject the bout agreement – with a view to remain active rather than remain sidelined.
“That’s a tricky one, because you have (Beneil) Dariush – but that rematch [with Alexander Volkanovski] needs to happen,” Alexander Volkanovski told The Mac Life during a recent interview. “We need to make that happen, so I guess it’s a tricky one, we just need to see how things go. Me, I just want to remain active – that’s the big thing for me. I’m not the one to wait around, I know I could eventually get it. But what am I going to do? Just sit around and wait until – that’s just not me.”
“I’ll get my fights and do what I’ve got to do,” Alexander Volkanovski explained. “Yeah, that rematch definitely needs to happen, we’ll make that happen. I’ll just do my thing in July [at UFC 287] and see what happens from there.”
As for Makhachev, the Russian has been linked with both a move to the welterweight limit in pursuit of a second Octagon title, however, is at least expected to return to the sport at UFC 294 in October as the promotion returns to Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Furthermore, Makhachev also expressed his interest in fighting Volkanovski in a rematch — as per his coach, Javier Mendez, who insisted the Russian was not dodging a re-run with the former.