Volkanovski explains the pay difference as a relief fighter

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Alexander Volkanovski has shed some light on how he would be compensated if he ends up stepping in as a replacement for the UFC 280 main event.

The UFC featherweight champion has established himself as one of the best fighters in the sport and now sits at the top spot in the promotion’s pound-for-pound rankings following the loss to Kamaru Usman at UFC 278.

After finally closing the book on his rivalry with Max Holloway and successfully defending his featherweight title for the fourth time, Volkanovski teased that he was considering upping his weight to challenge for the lightweight title.

While technically not booked to fight for the belt, there is a chance the 34-year-old could return to lightweight for the first time since his pre-UFC days at UFC 280. The card is headlined by a fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev, who will be contested for the lightweight title that Oliveira was forced to vacate after losing weight at UFC 274.

The replacement fight would be “a normal contract”

Volkanovski will compete at UFC 280 as an official main event reserve fighter, a position Beneil Dariush previously thought he would fill.

While Dariush is currently set to meet Mateusz Gamrot on the card, ‘The Great’ will weigh in but only enter the cage if Oliveira or Makhachev cannot compete.

Going through all the training and weight gain efforts without knowing if you’re actually going to compete is no small feat. Although backup fighters like Volkanovski are compensated for gaining weight, it’s a very different scenario to go from stepping on a scale to stepping into the cage against one of two possible opponents.

Volkanovski recently spoke to Kevin Iole about Yahoo! Sports, and Iole asked the 34-year-old if fighting at UFC 280 will come with additional compensation. Somewhat surprisingly, the featherweight champion indicated that he would be treated like any normal fight he signed up for.

Missing weight at UFC 274 resulted in Charles Oliveira being stripped of his lightweight title. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

“Obviously, if you fight, it will be a normal contract, right? Volkanovski replied. “But I mean, there’s a chance this fight won’t happen. So for me, it’s a commitment. When I told them I wanted to do this, a lot of people, because I announced it a few days ago, they felt like I was training all of a sudden now, but I mean that I was training. ”

A chance for Volkanovski to win a second UFC title would certainly make for a massive storyline at UFC 280, but the current main event between Oliveira and Makhachev has already got MMA fans very excited.

In addition to that lightweight title fight, the UFC 280 main card features Aljamain Sterling defending his bantamweight title again former champ TJ Dillashaw in the co-main event.

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