Dana White open to Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski 2, but not likely next for either fighter
Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volknovsky staged such a superfight that will be remembered forever, and it is likely that they will meet again in the future. But probably not right away.
Those are the words of UFC President Dana White, who praised the UFC 284 Main Event fighters for putting up a fight worthy of a champion fight, which rarely happens in the promotion.
After the fight, Volkanovski constantly called for an immediate rematch, claiming he deserved a nod to Makhachev after the Russian took a unanimous decision win on the scoresheets.
For his part, White doesn’t seem to mind the idea, though he’s quick to hit the pause button if something happens right now because new Interim UFC Featherweight Champion Yair Rodriguez is looking forward to Volkanovski’s return at 145 pounds.
“You know what I think about when you have a superfight, can you have a better result than us in this fight? Right?” White said this in a post-fight press conference at UFC Vegas 70. “When the whole world is arguing about who wins, it’s a superfight and it pays off, right? The only thing better is that the guy , who is in contention for the interim title, also looks incredible, so now you have Yair vs. Volkanovski.
“Let’s see what happens to Islam and where he ends up fighting next. You must do Yair [next]. I mean, [Yair] came out and absolutely dominated the stallion [in Josh Emmett] that night and then you have a rematch after they fight again. You couldn’t have had a better result.”
Rodriguez did his part to secure a future fight with Volkanovski after he sent Josh Emmett to the co-main event of UFC 284 to claim the interim title. As for Makhachev, he is preparing for Ramadan, which will last from March 22 to April 21, and this is likely pushing his next fight until the second half of 2023.
The potential contender’s fight is scheduled for May, with Beneil Dariush looking to extend his eight-fight winning streak against former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira. The winner could easily grab Makhachev’s attention during his next title defense, although White has made it clear that he has not yet booked a single bout at lightweight or featherweight.
“I mean, look, I don’t know – we haven’t fought yet,” White said. “There are a lot of different things that come into play in these fights, you know, injury time, personal stuff, whatever it is.
“But yeah, for me, the fight that makes sense is we do Yair vs. Volkanovski, Islam vs. someone when it happens, and then you have a rematch.”
This news may not be what Volkanovski wanted, but at least it looks like he has received assurances from the UFC that he could get another opportunity in Makhachev and a lightweight title. But first things first: he will probably have to go through Rodriguez at featherweight to get there.