Alexander Volkanovski has given the thumbs up to Yair Rodriguez vs. Josh Emmett as both fighters will square off for the interim featherweight title on the same card Volkanovski challenges Islam Makhachev for the lightweight strap at UFC 284.
Volkanovski, the reigning featherweight king, is ‘more than OK’ with the matchup and is excited about the prospect of facing the winner in a potential 145-pound title unification bout after he disposes of Makhachev on Feb. 12.
“I’m OK with it,” Volkanovski said at the UFC 284 Tickets-On-Sale Press Conference ahead of his highly anticipated lightweight showdown with Makhachev (h/t MMA Fighting). “At the end of the day, I’m the champ so that gives me a clear guy. What a card to do it on. They get to show me who is next in the featherweight division, and here in Australia as well, so that builds that fight up anyway, but I’m more than OK with it.”
He added: “Right now, I’m going to chase that second belt so I’m focusing on that. We’ll let them do their thing, hopefully [they] put on a show, give me a clear guy and then someone will be holding that interim belt, and I’ll be happy to take them on as soon as possible.
“I want to be active. I don’t want people waiting around for me and things like that, even though I don’t think they’ll need to. But I think this is good. It really sets up my next fight at featherweight.”
Makhachev vs. Volkanovski and Rodriguez vs. Emmett will feature as headlining and co-headlining title fights at the upcoming UFC 284 pay-per-view in Perth, Australia, on Feb. 12, 2023. Both matchups were confirmed by the UFC earlier this week.