Aussie UFC star reacts to short guy jab

Australian UFC star Alexander Volkanovski has vowed to unleash the "short monster" in his bid to create history against lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.

Volkanovski already holds the featherweight belt and he has the chance to become the first Australian to hold two UFC titles simultaneously if he can snare Makhachev's lightweight crown when they face off in Perth on February 12.

Only four other fighters in UFC history have achieved the feat.

Last month, Makhachev mocked Volkanovski by referring to him as the "short guy" when discussing a potential match-up with the Australian.

The 178cm Makhachev holds a 10cm height advantage over the 168cm Volkanovski.

The "short guy" jab didn't go unnoticed by Volkanovski, who was more than happy to play along when discussing next February's blockbuster battle at RAC Arena.

"A lot of respect to Islam, he's no joke, but I'm going to show you what short people can do," Volkanovski said in Perth on Wednesday.

"Mark my words, you're going to see a fiery and a short monster on February 12.

"It would mean the world (to win that second belt). That's all I want right now."

Volkanovski, who holds a 25-1 record, has been eating about 4000 calories a day in his bid to move up a weight division.

It's a challenge he's embraced.

"Eating a lot, it's not a challenge, it's quite fun," he said.

"But I'm not just trying to get big for the sake of it - it needs to be all explosive muscle. It needs to be the right foods.

"I'm about 78, 79kg now. I want to sit around that weight, but I want to turn as much of that weight into muscle.

"I don't want to go too crazy, too big, because I need to fight in that featherweight (division) as well.

"I do want to be active in both divisions. If anyone can do it, it's me."

Volkanovski will start as the underdog against Makhachev (23-1).

"This is a feared man," Volkanovski said.

"A lot of people don't want to fight him, but I do. I can't wait to go out there and make history."

Fellow Australian Robert Whittaker will take on Paulo Costa, and a win could set up a middleweight title bout against newly crowned champion Alex Pereira.

Pereira pulled off an upset by dethroning Israel Adesanya in New York on Sunday.

Whittaker, the former UFC middleweight champion, says his full focus for now is on Costa.

But he would love to have a crack at winning back his title down the track.

"I think Pereira is a better match up for me than Israel," Whittaker said.

"But in saying that, did you see the size of him? He's a giant. I've been face to face with Israel - and he's pretty big.

"But then you see Pereira up against him ... his facial features are bigger. His feet and hands and forearms are massive. I was thinking, 'who let this guy in?'

"But still I think I can take him on."