Only weeks after being told he could have lost a leg, Alex Volkanovski is now on standby for a blockbuster UFC title fight.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal Volkanovski, on a staggering undefeated run of 17 professional wins, is back in training and on standby for the upcoming UFC 240 headliner between featherweight champ Max Holloway and American Frankie Edgar.
Apart from agreeing to fly halfway around the world to attend the title fight, which takes place in Alberta, Canada, the Australian slugger has also told UFC officials he will make the 65.8kg limit at weigh-ins if required.
“If they want me to hit the scales, I can do that no problem,” Volkanovski said on Thursday afternoon.
“I’ll be 100 per cent ready to fight.
“Right on weight, too.
Volkanovski earned his No.1 contender spot after beating MMA legend Jose Aldo. Picture: AFPSource:AFP
“I’ll do everything normally required to fight for that title.”
Undefeated in all seven UFC appearances, Volkanovski was initially tipped to be Holloway’s next challenger after assuming the No.1 contender rank.
Only last month, at UFC 237, the Shellharbour product shocked the fight world when he upset Brazilian legend Jose Aldo.
However, on his first of three flights home from Rio de Janeiro, the father-of-two contracted a serious bacterial infection which surgeons later revealed could have cost him his leg, or worse, if not treated immediately.
As a result, Volkanovski was hospitalised for almost a week in Santiago, Chile.
Yet despite that setback, coupled with the initial disappointment of not getting next shot at Holloway, Volkanovski is now back in the gym preparing as if he will headline UFC 240.
Volkanovski in a hospital bed in Chi.Source:Supplied
“I’m basically going into camp right now,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “I’ve told the UFC of my plans and they’ve said ‘beautiful’ – they’re happy with it.
“And I’m taking this serious.
“Like with any other camp I’ve done, I’ll get away overseas a couple of times.
“Next week I’ll go spend five days in Thailand at Tiger Muay Thai. Then I’ll come home again before heading off to City Kickboxing in Auckland, New Zealand.”
It makes sense that if Edgar withdraws from UFC 240, Volkanovski will be catapulted straight into a world title fight.
But if the champ himself withdraws?
“Obviously I’m not going to fight Frankie for nothing,” Volkanovski said. “We’d have to speak with the UFC but, if that scenario does occur, I guess you’d want an interim championship on the line.
“Because I’m already guaranteed a title fight next.
“So if Max is hurt, I’m still willing to save the day and I think an interim title shot is pretty fair.”
Volkanovski has also offered to complete the weigh-in if required, ensuring he could still be called up as late as fight day.
“I’ll talk to the UFC about doing the weight cut, absolutely,” he said. “They’ve done that previously, where they’ve paid fighters (on standby) to make weight.
“So we’ll see.
Volkanovski is on a seven-fight UFC win streak. Picture: GettySource:Supplied
“At the end of the day, the UFC didn’t ask me to do this. I’ve offered.
“But obviously if you do right by the company, they’re going to do right by you.
“Also, I’m also doing this because it’s another opportunity for me.
“I want that featherweight title before the end of the year. That’s my goal.
“And if I do fight (at UFC 240), then win, then I’ll also get to defend before this year is over too. That would mean two big title fights, which is great for me and also great money for my family – and they’re the reason I fight.”
Originally published as‘I’m ready’: Aussie on standby for UFC title fight
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