UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski has accepted his next challenge, despite a recent return from elbow surgery.
In July, the 35-year-old strengthened his already all-time great legacy with a dominant win over Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 in Las Vegas.
Volkanovski scored a third-round TKO victory over the dangerous Mexican to record his fifth defence of the title at 145-pounds.
But what’s next for Alexander the Great?
MORE: Alex Volkanovski to face Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 after Charles Oliveira injury
Who will Alex Volkanovski fight next?
Volkanovski is set to headline UFC 294 in a rematch against Islam Makhachev after No.1 ranked lightweight contender Charles Oliveira withdrew from the bout with an injury.
The Australian surprised the MMA world, accepting an offer to fight the lightweight champion on just 11 days notice.
UFC boss Dana White revealed all it took was “one phone call” for the featherweight champion to accept the fight.
“And then the Volkanovski crew, him and Israel [Adesanya], these guys are just absolute studs, man,” White said.
“He jumps in and he accepts the fight.”
Volkanovski previously suffered a unanimous decision loss to Makhachev in UFC 284, having jumped up to lightweight from featherweight for a chance at the ‘champ champ’ title.
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Alexander Volkanovski’s next featherweight fight
In his own featherweight division, Ilia Topuria has emerged as the next possible challenger, putting together a 14-0 record as a professional and talking his fair share of smack in an effort to get the fight.
Volkanovski said the fight was on the table in July.
“He’s very lucky that the timing of everything for him, because he might get a title fight in the position he is,” he said.
“Do I think he’s done more than enough? No, I don’t. But people want that fight, I want that fight, everyone’s hyped up for it.
“Obviously that lightweight fight really is something that I want.
“Ilia’s a fun fight, the challenge is with Islam.”
When will Alex Volkanovski fight next?
Volkanoskvi vs Makhachev will take place at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, on Sunday, October 22, at 5am AEDT.
Due to his elbow injury and rehabilitation, the Australian superstar was unable to fight at UFC 293 in Sydney.
MORE: Is Alex Volkanovski the featherweight GOAT?
What happened to Charles Oliveira?
Within two weeks of his lightweight title fight with Makhachev, Oliveira and his team made the decision to withdraw from the bout.
The former champion suffered a deep cut above his left eye which required stitching and left little time for recovery before the fight.
Oliveira took to Instagram to address the incident after Volkanovski was announced as his replacement.
“Some of you already know that I’m out of the upcoming UFC Abu Dhabi card,” Oliveira said.
“In my final training in Brazil before travelling, I clashed heads in training and suffered a deep cut that needed eight or nine stitches, something like that, I don’t know for sure.
“It’s a cut too deep to be able to fight, to recover in such a short time and be able to put on a great fight.”