LOS ANGELES — ALEXANDER Volkanovski finally has his man.
The Australian featherweight will fight Chad Mendes at UFC 232: Jones v Gustafsson II on December 30 in Las Vegas, UFC officials confirmed on Wednesday (AEDT).
Volkanovski last fought – defeating Darren Elkins — at UFC Fight Night 133 in Boise, and subsequently called out Mendes, who featured on the same card.
For Mendes, Boise marked a successful return to the Octagon after more than two years out due to a USADA suspension; one of the main reasons Volkanovski wanted this match-up in the first place.
“I would like that fight, he’s [Mendes] a big name,” the No. 11 ranked contender said in July.
“He’s coming off a suspension. I don’t know the case in the situation, but I don’t like that sort of s*** … He obviously got caught doing something – they’re the guys I want.”
And now the Aussie will get his chance.
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Volkanovski is undefeated in the UFC (5-0), and has quite frankly looked a level above everyone he’s come up against so far. But Mendes, the 5th ranked contender, will provide a new test.
The 33-year-old American has been around the block in the 145-division; fights against the likes of Conor McGregor, Jose Aldo, and Frankie Edgar (all losses) headlining what’s been an interesting run in the organisation.
Volkanovski becomes the second Australian to be added to the card, with Megan Anderson set to fight Cat Zingano at the UFC’s end-of-year event.
CONFIRMED UFC 232 FIGHTS:
Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustaffson – main event
Cris Cyborg vs. Amanda Nunes – co-main event
Carlos Condit vs. Michael Chiesa
Corey Anderson vs. Ilir Latifi
Chad Mendes vs. Alexander Volkanovski
Andrei Arlovski vs. Walt Harris
Cat Zingano vs. Megan Anderson
BJ Penn vs. Ryan Hall
Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Petr Yan
Tom Duquesnoy vs. Nathaniel Wood
Uriah Hall vs. Bevon Lewis
Curtis Millender vs. Siyar Bahadurzada