Alexander Volkanovski Says He Won’t Compete At UFC 251


Alexander Volkanovski became the UFC Featherweight Champion when he defeated Max Holloway by decision at UFC 245 in December of last year.

Many thought the rematch between Volkanovski and Holloway would happen this June at UFC 251, but Volkanovski doesn’t believe he’ll compete on the card due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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"To be honest with you, nothing was signed; nothing was locked in," Volkanovski said to ESPN. "Everything was pointing towards Perth, but we're still not sure whether it's going to go ahead or whether it's not. But I'm in a weird position where I'm being quarantined; not being able to train properly; not being able to get over to New Zealand ... so are we still going to be doing that card? I just don't think that's a good idea for me, especially coming off a broken hand. For me to try and overcome an injury and then go into a camp, and not be fully prepared in the camp, it's not a good idea. So I don't think the Perth card will go ahead, but if it does I don't know the chances of me being on it."

UFC 251 has been in trouble for some time now, as a women’s flyweight title bout between Valentina Shevchenko and Joanne Calderwood was pulled from the card due to a leg injury suffered by Shevchenko.

Volkanovski just left the United States a short time ago and is self-quarantining in Australia, which is another reason the champion feels he wouldn’t be ready in time for UFC 251.

"We didn't go and do any strength and conditioning at the other place [gym]; I'm trying to take all the precautions I can because coming from America they were saying you were higher risk. So even though we didn't have to [self-quarantine], we thought it was best to do that. And we've been doing that ever since. We're just adapting to this situation right now, and I think we're going to be stuck at home soon, so I'm getting my home workouts prepared,” says Volkanovski.

UFC 251 takes place on Saturday, June 8 from the Perth Arena in Perth, Australia with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow. 

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