Alexander Volkanovski Eyes Dustin Poirier Fight After Makhachev’s Win at UFC 302

Timothy LogoFeatured Columnist IVJune 2, 2024

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 17: Alexander Volkanovski of Australia prepares to face Ilia Topuria in their featherweight title fight during UFC 298 at Honda Center on February 17, 2024 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Alexander Volkanovski can relate to Dustin Poirier.

The Australian featherweight has lost both of his fights against lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, a fate that Poirier met on Saturday at UFC 302 after a fifth-round submission choke against Makhachev.

And now Volkanovski is eying a matchup with Poirier (3:00 mark).

“If the timing works maybe me and Dustin can have a good fight,” he said. “I know he just wants good, fun fights and we have a lot of respect for each other and I think that would be a massive fight. That’s something I’d be willing to do while I’m waiting for that featherweight title. Maybe a lightweight fight against someone like Poirier would be great. So you heard it here first.”

Volkanovski, 35, is 26-4 in his career, but three of those losses have come in his past four fights. He was knocked out by punches in two rounds by Ilia Topuria in his last fight back in February at UFC 298, with the featherweight title on the line.

He previously held the featherweight title himself after defeating Max Holloway at UFC 245 in Dec. 2019. He defended that title five times, including twice against Holloway, before losing it to Topuria.

Poirier, 35, is 30-9 in his career but is just 2-3 in his last three fights, including a pair of lightweight title bid losses against Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 in Dec. 2021 and Makhachev on Saturday.

He’s considered to be arguably the greatest UFC fighter to never win a title, falling short in three title fights during his career, and he certainly made Makhachev work for his money.

“He did very good,” the lightweight champ told reporters after the fight. “He defended my takedown and gave me a hard time.”

It’s possible that Saturday was Poirier’s final rodeo.

“I know I can compete with the rest of these guys, but if I do, am I fighting just to fight?” he told reporters Saturday. “I got a little girl and a family at home, but I got to see [what’s next]. This could be it.”

If it isn’t the end, however, a fight with Volkanovski would be an enticing next chapter.

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