Alexander Volkanovski was more than 25 pounds over the contract weight the day before he accepted to fight in the UFC main event this weekend.
Volkanovski, the UFC featherweight champion, will fight Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title in a rematch at UFC 294 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi. The fight came together early last week after Makhachev’s original opponent Charles Oliveira withdrew due to a cut on his right eyebrow.
In a YouTube video, Volkanovski said that one day prior to getting the call from the UFC to fill in, he weighed in the range of 181 pounds. The lightweight limit in a title fight is 155 pounds. But Volkanovski was confident it was mostly “water weight” and he’d be able to shed pounds relatively easily.
The Australian fighter said two days later he was down to 172 pounds and Monday he was around 168 after multiple training sessions. Volkanovski said he broke all his jumping records at his Freestyle Fighting Gym training center, even though he was heavier than usual.
“My body knows, man,” he said. “My body just knows.”