Friday, September 18, 2020

Alexander Volkanovski Had An Insane Trip To Become UFC 240 Backup

This morning, a fighter not on tomorrow’s UFC 240 from Edmonton weighed in anyway. That man was Alexander Volkanovski, and he had quite a journey to get there.

The top-ranked ‘Great’ is on hand to potentially fill in for the Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar main event at UFC 240. Volkanovski cuts a ton of weight to make it down to 145 pounds, so many wondered if it was worth it for the perceived next title contender. But Holloway vs. Edgar has fallen apart twice before, so that provided an incentive. However, it’s tough to say it truly was when you listen to Volkanovski’s retelling of his trip.

Today, he told MMA Junkie he estimated it took him 38 straight hours to get from his home of New Zealand to Edmonton. He was forced to drive across the Canadian border when his Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) application was not approved. So his wild trip took him from New Zealand to Sydney, Australia, Sydney to San Francisco, San Francisco to Seattle, Seattle to Vancouver in the aforementioned drive, and finally Vancouver to Edmonton.

Was It Worth It?

Quite the whirlwind two-day trip, especially while cutting weight. He had 13 pounds to lose in two days in order to make his mark. Even coupled with the insane travel schedule, Volkanovski said it was still worth it, but he didn’t seem fully certain it was:

“It’s definitely worth it,” he said. “Well, I guess maybe not. … Well, it’s still worth it.”

Volkanovski also clarified that he wasn’t hoping either Holloway or Edgar got hurt:

“I’m not here hoping they get injured,” Volkanovski said. “Let them fight, I get my paycheck, fight them later in the year – we’re laughing.”

Looking Forward

As for his own hopes, ‘The Great’ admits he’d rather fight Holloway. Beating a legend like ”Blessed” would make him one as well in his eyes:

“I do want Max to win, purely, selfishly because I believe that’s a bigger fight for me,” he said. “He’s undefeated at featherweight. If he wins, everyone’s going to think he’s invincible again.

“Once I take him out, that’s me taking out legend after legend. Chad Mendes, (Jose) Aldo, then Max Holloway, then all of a sudden, I’m a legend myself.”

Volkanovski closed by saying he wants his title shot to go down at October’s UFC 243 from Australia, which could be wishful thinking based on the quick turnaround. Yet it is a huge card in a 60,000-seat stadium that could set attendance records. Volkanovski believes that could be a motivating factor for the winner of the UFC 240 main event:

“We could break some records, so they probably want a piece of that,” he said.

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