Alexander Volkanovski says that it came close to his services being required this weekend in Abu Dhabi.
Volkanovski, the pound-for-pound number one fighter in the world and reigning UFC featherweight champion, is currently in situ in the UAE ahead of Saturday’s UFC 280 fight card where he is listed as the back-up fighter for the main event showdown between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev.
It is looking increasingly likely that the Aussie will not be required to fight this weekend given that both Oliveira and Makhachev successfully made championship weight in advance of their lightweight world title fight — but Volkanovski still hit weight at 155-pounds as a contingency plan should anything go awry on the eve of the bout.
And speaking to TheMacLife, Volkanovski is of the opinion that at least one of Oliveira or Makhachev was struggling to make weight, given that his team were contacted by UFC officials in the hours before the weigh-ins to determine if they were on track to make the 155-pound weight limit — something he said wouldn’t have happened had both fighters been having an error-free weight cut.
He said: “I was surprised because I’m pretty sure one of them might have been struggling. Looked like it, anyway. We were checked up on to make sure everything was good on our end. I’m sure they did that because someone was struggling. They wouldn’t check up on us for nothing. So someone was struggling.”
Oliveira, of course, lost the lightweight title in May after he weighed marginally heavy ahead of a title defence against Justin Gaethje. Makhachev, meanwhile, has never missed weight in the UFC but his last fight against Bobby Green took place at a 160-pound catchweight, though this was to accommodate Green who was a short-notice replacement for Beneil Dariush.