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UFC hoping for Aussie fight card next year

3 minute read

Australia has not hosted a UFC fight card since 2019 but that could change in 2023.

ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI.
ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

The UFC is aiming to bring a major fight card to Australia early next year and Wollongong-born featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski has already put his hand up to feature.

UFC Australia vice president Peter Kloczko said he hoped the card could emulate UFC 276 in Las Vegas, where Volkanovski will face Max Holloway in July to complete the pair's trilogy and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya of New Zealand will defend his belt against Jared Cannonier.

"Our ambition is to come back with the right event at the right time," Kloczko said.

"UFC 276 is one of those fight cards I'd like to replicate down here in Australia.

"It's a matter of timing and scheduling but I'm hoping that window of opportunity emerges for us, probably early next year."

Volkanovski's third fight against American Holloway will be his second appearance in the octagon in three months after successfully defending his featherweight belt against Chan Sung Jung in April.

But despite the recent heavy workload, Volkanovski said he would be fit and ready if a fight were to be scheduled in Australia early next year.

"I want to be active, so we're going to make that happen," said Volkanovski, who hasn't fought in Australia since UFC 221 in February 2018.

"We'll go out, do our work (in UFC 276) and maybe we can turn something around quick.

"I want to bring that belt here and put on a show for the crowd here in Australia."

Adesanya's first fight with Aussie Robert Whittaker headlined the most recent UFC event to be held in Australia - UFC 243 in October 2019.

The pair met for a second time in February but Adesanya, who won the first two fights, said he was reluctant to complete the trilogy.

"Bobby's a great fighter, I'll give that to him, but I know how that book ends," he said.

"That's why I'm excited for this next fight (in UFC 276), some new blood, someone I've never fought before."

Adesanya said antipodean fighters deserved the chance to perform on home soil.

"It's like nothing you've ever felt before. I'm glad to be part of the privileged few on this planet that were able to experience that," he said.

If Adesanya were to appear in an upcoming UFC event in Australia, either American Sean Strickland or Brazilian Alex Pereira could firm as opponents.

The pair are set to face off in UFC 276 and neither has fought Adesanya before.

"I'd look forward to either one of those fights," Adesanya said.

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