Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski doesn’t mind the UFC implementing an interim title.
Although Volkanovski (25-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC) has been an active champion, the promotion created an interim title fight after “The Great” decided to move up a division to challenge lightweight champ Islam Makhachev.
At UFC 284 on Feb. 11 in Perth, Australia, Volkanovski will chase dual-champ status when he meets Makhachev in the main event. On that same card, Yair Rodriguez (14-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and Josh Emmett (18-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) will battle it out for the interim 145-pound belt.
“Look, I’m OK with it,” Volkanovski said at the UFC 284 press conference. “At the end of the day, I’m the champ. So that’s that. So that gives me a clear guy. What a card to do it on, you know what I mean? They get to show me who’s next in that featherweight division here in Australia, as well. So, that builds that fight up anyway. But I’m more than OK with it. Right now, I wanna chase that second belt, so I’m focusing on that.”
Volkanovski plans on fighting Makhachev then returning to featherweight to defend his title against the winner of Rodriguez and Emmett.
“And then we’ll let them do their thing,” Volkanovski added. “Hopefully put on a show, give me a clear guy, and then you know someone will be holding that interim belt, and I’ll be happy to take them on as soon as possible, because I wanna be active, you know what I mean? And I don’t want people waiting around for me and things like that, even though I don’t think that they would need to, but I think this is good. I think this really sets up for my next fight in featherweight anyway, so I’m more than OK with it.”
For more on the card, check out MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 284.