He admits it's "a pretty crazy thing to do" but Alex Volkanovski is relishing pronounced underdog status after stepping up to challenge UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev on just 11 days' notice.
Speaking via his YouTube channel, the reigning UFC featherweight champion said he was as shocked as anyone when the call came following Charles Oliveira's withdrawal from the UFC 294 main event, but didn't hesitate in accepting the challenge.
"I got told about Charles having to pull out and needing a backup, they hit me up yesterday," Volkanovski said on Thursday.
"We said, alright, let's do it. It's obviously a pretty crazy thing to do, there's not many fighters out there that would do this, especially in my position, but I always say that I will do these things.
"I am that guy that will do anytime, anywhere, any weight, whatever it is. This is an opportunity to prove that once again against a tough game opponent.
"A lot of people, won't do these things. Would I prefer a better camp? Of course, everyone would, you know, what I'm like with my preparation. I like to make sure, but I'm the man for the job.
"If anyone can do this on 12 days notice, off the couch as they say, it's me. I get to go and shock the world in 11 days."
Volkanovski was a despised outsider beyond Aussie shores ahead of his first meeting with Makhachev in Perth in February given he was going up in weight to face a man who'd cut a nonchalant swathe through the lightweight division en route to the strap.
The eventual closeness of Makhachev's victory - one many felt should have gone to the Aussie - would have seen much tighter odds in rematch markets in normal circumstances.
However, Volkanovski's lack of a fight camp and decision to accept the fight in Abu Dhabi on less than two weeks preparation will see him return to his much preferred heavy underdog status.
"We already battled it out this year, we thought we got the job done, but I didn't get my hand raised," Volkanovski said.
"I thought I had that big moment, the whole underdog story, [people saying] 'there's no way, he doesn't stand a chance'.
"Just a few days ago I was thinking 'I'm not going to really get that moment now. If I fight him again, I'm not going to be this crazy underdog, people have seen what I can do, they're going to think I can get the job done'.
"Now on 12 days notice, I'm in the same position where a lot of people are going to [think] 'there's no way, short notice, he's crazy' so it's an opportunity.
"I get to prove it once again, I've got them big cajones, go out there and, do my thing."
While he's renowned for having the best cardio in the sport, Volkanovski admits he hadn't been in a simulated fight camp, with Polish contender Mateusz Gamrot having been in place as the scheduled back-up fighter.
Volkanovski is also on the comeback from elbow surgery following his demolition of Yair Rodriguez in his most recent defence of his featherweight title in July.
He was set to return to action at featherweight against rising contender Ilia Topuria in January, but the just-turned-35-year-old said he'd always hoped to get back in the cage sooner.
"It was a shock to me," Volkanovski admitted.
"They said it to me and I'm like 'wow, OK, did not expect that'. It's not like I said 'I'll stay in camp just in case' because I obviously had my surgery.
"I didn't want to wait till January, now I don't have to wait at all. I think it's all meant to be, this just adds to the story. I always said that close fight we had just adds to the story.
"Now me going over there to Abu Dhabi, him with a full camp, all this stuff, people are going to think I'm crazy for doing this, but I get to shock the world.
"That fight with Islam made me a better fighter. My training for that, my takedown defence, my scrambling ability, the way I understand the ground.
"Obviously I've always had that, but I learned so much from that fight. It's a crazy turn of events, but it's exciting for me."
World-renowned jiu-jitsu whiz Craig Jones and wrestling coach Frank Hickman will rush into camp, with Volkanovski having already jumped into fight prep with Windang's Freestyle Fight Gym crew.
"Luckily I'm always training," Volkanovski said.
"Have I been on holidays? Yeah. Have I had a couple of drinks here and there? Yeah, but that makes me feel a little fresh. I don't feel worn out.
"As soon as I found out yesterday I was in the gym literally that afternoon. I hit up the boys and said 'we're doing a meat grinder', the fight simulator, straight away.
"All year round we get good training in so I'm always in half-decent shape. If anyone can do this, it's me. A lot of people talk to talk, not many people walk to walk. I can't wait to go out there and do it."
Our news app has had a makeover, making it faster and giving you access to even more great content.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.