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Alexander Volkanovski Offered to Step up on Short Notice at UFC 303



Alexander Volkanovski seemingly can’t pass on an opportunity to save an Ultimate Fighting Championship card on short notice.

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Volkanovski revealed that he recently offered to step up to save the upcoming UFC 303 card. Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler were originally scheduled to headline UFC 303 on June 29 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas before “Notorious” pulled out due to a broken toe. Rumors of the fight potentially falling off were afloat a week before it became official. Volkanovski was prompt to raise his hand for a short-notice UFC 303 matchup as soon as he heard those rumors.

“A lot happened with this card, obviously Conor McGregor was meant to be on it. I did put my hand up,”Volkanovski recently said on his YouTube channel. “I said, ‘You need a guy?’ I got told, obviously we all heard the whispers as you did… Whispers that they were looking for someone to maybe replace him. So, I was like, ‘Hey, you need someone? You know a guy.’”

The last time Volkanovski stepped up for a short-notice UFC headliner, it didn’t end well for him. Volkanovski replaced Charles Oliveira on 11 days’ notice for a rematch against Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 in October 2023. Volkanovski had fought Makhachev to a gritty unanimous decision loss in their initial encounter at UFC 284 in February 2023. While Volkanovski had since bounced back with a TKO win over Yair Rodriguez, many believed it was too soon for “The Great” to rematch Makhachev. Volkanovski went on to suffer a brutal head-kick knockout in the first round.

Volkanovski then went on to lose his featherweight title in another brutal knockout loss against Ilia Topuria at UFC 298 this past February. In the aftermath of the loss, there was speculation that it was too quick a turnaround for Volkanovski from his knockout loss against Makhachev.

Even the UFC advised Volkanovski to cool things off for a bit when he offered to save the day this time around. However, Volkanovski respects the UFC’s call, as he believes they were concerned about his health.

“Some people think I’m mad but eh, I’m back into training now and excited to get back in there,” Volkanovski said. “So, that’s all it takes, just a little thing like that and I’ll put my hand up. But it wasn’t me, I didn’t get the call back. UFC were sitting there going, ‘You know you’re a savage but we’ll let you know if we need you,’ - type thing… And they said, “Look you know, let’s just have a bit of a break.’ So they were obviously respecting that, so, good on them for that. Even though I kept reminding them every day, like, ‘I’m being serious, let me know.’ But they were sticking to their guns obviously, thinking of looking after me. So, you gotta give them respect for that.”
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