PERTH, Australia – UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski isn’t looking past his upcoming task, but has his eye on a huge potential matchup if he claims the lightweight title.
First, the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter Volkanovski (25-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC) has a massive test on his hands in the main event of UFC 284. The event takes place in his own backyard Saturday at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.
Standing across the cage from him will be lightweight champ Islam Makhachev, who is considered by some to be No. 2 on the P4P list. It’s a massive fight, and an opportunity for Volkanovski to etch his name in history as a two-division champion.
Should “The Great” be just that and accomplish his goal of becoming the king of the featherweight and lightweight divisions, he would be open to a title challenge against Conor McGregor, the Irish superstar who once accomplished the same feat.
McGregor will be returning to action to face former lightweight title challenger Michael Chandler after the pair complete their coaching assignments on the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” If McGregor can defeat Chandler, Volkanovski knows there will be calls for McGregor to get another shot at gold.
“That just puts Conor right back in the conversations for the belt and all that type of stuff,” Volkanovski told reporters at UFC 284 media day. “For people to say he wouldn’t deserve it and there’s no way they’re going to do that, you’re pretty crazy, right? It’s Conor McGregor, and if he takes out someone like Chandler, you know his name is going to be mentioned. You know people are going to be talking about him.”
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McGregor last competed for a UFC title at UFC 229 in a losing effort against Khabib Nurmagomedov. He rebounded with a first-round stoppage of Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, but then suffered a pair of setbacks in rematches with Dustin Poirier, the most recent resulting in a nasty broken ankle.
Despite those hurdles, McGregor remains one of the biggest names in the sport, who always seems to be one fight away from another shot at a UFC title. The former two-division champ brings the name value and the fanfare to justify his position, and that’s just fine with the man who plans to hold two belts after Saturday’s event.
“It’s good to look at because I plan on taking that lightweight belt and I’m looking at seeing what’s happening in the division,” Volkanovski said. “There’s a lot of potential matchups after this one, but obviously first, I’ve got to worry about what’s in front of me.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 284.