The rationale behind Alexander Volkanovski's animosity against...
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The rationale behind Alexander Volkanovski’s animosity against Makhachev and the UFC’s decision-makers…

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Alexander Volkanovski is reportedly “interested” in facing Islam Makhachov again.

The featherweight champion entered the UFC 294 main event on 11 days notice
The UFC explored other main events before turning to Kamaru Usman
Alexander Volkanovski is reportedly “obsessed” with the prospect of facing Islam Makhachov ahead of their lightweight title fight at UFC 294.

The UFC featherweight champion faces Makhachov as a short-notice replacement on Saturday night, having only had 11 days to prepare for the main event.

However, the 35-year-old was looking for a chance to face Makhachov again after the lightweight king handed him his first UFC loss earlier this year.

When Volkanovski’s UFC 293 promotion returned to his native Australia last month, Volkanovski sat down with UFC business director Hunter Campbell to discuss his upcoming defense of the 145-pound title.

According to an ESPN report, Campbell appeared to point to Volkanovski’s burning desire to get revenge on Makhachev despite his plans with featherweight contender Ilia Topuria. Aleksanteri Volkanovski is said to be “excited” at the prospect of facing Islam Makhachov again.

Aleksanteri Volkanovski is said to be “excited” at the prospect of facing Islam Makhachov again
Makhachov handed the Australian his first loss inside the Octagon at UFC 284 earlier this year.
Makhachov handed the Australian his first loss inside the Octagon at UFC 284 earlier this year.

But Volkanovski will get his redemption when the pair meet at UFC 294 on Saturday
But Volkanovski will get his redemption when the pair meet at UFC 294 on Saturday
“[Volkanovski] kept telling me, ‘I know if I get another chance, I can beat him,”’ Campbell said. “He was obsessed with it.

Makhachov got the nod at UFC 284 after five action-packed rounds that left fans divided, feeling Volkanovski deserved the decision.
The pair were expected to meet again in the Octagon at some point, perhaps next year, but fate brought the Australian back to art.

After Charles Oliveira was forced out of his expected rematch with Makhachov, Volkanovski wasted no time in accepting the opportunity to replace the Brazilian in his two-weight world title bid.

While Volkanovski was the UFC’s first choice as a late warning replacement in Saturday’s main event, the same could not be said for Kamaru Usman. After weeks of speculation, Paulo Costa has been ruled out of the main event clash with Khamzat Chimaev as the former welterweight champion was announced as the Brazilian’s replacement to much fanfare.

But before Costa was officially removed from the event, the UFC explored several options before finally turning to Usman.

Sean Strickland was first approached to replace Paulo Costa Khamza against Chimaev.

The UFC then turned to Jared Cannonier, but he was injured himself
The UFC then turned to Jared Cannonier, but he was injured himself
But with both unavailable, the promotion turned to former middleweight champion Kamaru Usman
But with both unavailable, the promotion turned to former middleweight champion Kamaru Usman.

The promotion reportedly first approached Sean Strickland as a possible replacement that would have put the top contender in a middleweight title match.
But just six weeks after his victory over Israel Adesanya at UFC 293, Strickland turned down the fight, stating that the timing didn’t make sense to him.

Perennial middleweight contender Jared Cannonier was also approached as a possible replacement, but the American then suffered an injury of his own in training that ruled him out of the fight.
With two potential options unavailable, the UFC turned to Usman and the 36-year-old agreed to take the fight with the stipulation that he will be granted a middleweight title shot should he hand Chimaev his first defeat.

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