Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will move up to the lightweight division in a champ versus champ bout against Islam Makhachev in the UFC 284 main event on February 12.
Volkanovski (25-1) is the top ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world and Makhachev (23-1) sits in the No. 2 position. The match is not only for the 155-pound championship, it’s for the No. 1 pound-for-pound recognition.
Volkanovski, who’s lone career loss came in 2013, believes the better days await him in the coming year.
“2022 was massive, but 2023 is going to be my year. Next year is going to be my year,” Volkanovski said on his YouTube Channel. “I’m rolling into 2023 with the biggest fight of my life, the opportunity against Islam Makhachev. This is the year people will remember my legacy.”
“2022 was a huge year with a lot of accomplishments. It’s some things I’m very proud of, but 2023 is definitely going to top it,” Volkanovski said.
For Makhachev, the showdown at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia with Volkanovski may just be about taking the top spot in the pound-for-pound rankings, but for Volkanovski it’s about more than that. “The Great” wants to go down as one of the greatest.
“2023 is definitely going to top it (2022), and it’s going to start with a big, big win over Islam,” Volkanovski said. “With big challenges comes big opportunities and that’s how you start off 2023.
“I’m telling you, 2023 is going to be the biggest year of my whole career, my legacy, the defining year. 2023 starts with taking out Islam. A big opportunity to not only be great, but to be one of the greatest. That’s what I’m coming for, so stay tuned.”
UFC 284: Double Champ Camp, Episode 2
(Video Courtesy of Alexander Volkanovski)
Bryce Mitchell considers retirement after UFC 282 loss: ‘I just don’t ever want to feel this much pain’
Alexander Volkanovski: ‘2023 is my year’