Alex Volkanovski aiming to become featherweight GOAT, defend title in Australia

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The acronym GOAT is used a lot in the UFC.

A subjective term that is highly debated and loosely thrown around to sell fights.

The first-ever UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo was long considered the GOAT of the division, even after he was beaten by Conor McGregor.

After losing twice to Max Holloway, however, leading MMA voices such as Joe Rogan pronounced the Hawaiian as ‘the consensus greatest featherweight of all time.’

After UFC 245 in Las Vegas, Alex Volkanovski has catapulted his way into the debate after convincingly defeating both Aldo and Holloway in the space of seven months.

“I’m looking to be one of the GOATs,” Volkanovski told media in Sydney with his new featherweight title firmly planted on his shoulder.

“I need to win for my family, but I’m building a legacy while I’m doing that.”

With an undefeated run in the UFC and 18 wins in a row, it is hard to argue that Volkanovski cannot be in the conversation.

You need to go all the way back to 2013 to find the lone loss on Volkanovski’s record, a fight he took at welterweight, 11kgs above his current weight class.

Volkanovski is eager to solidify himself as one of the best featherweights ever by racking up title defenses. Holloway managed three consecutive defenses of the title, Aldo defended the WEC/UFC nine times over a nearly six-year reign.

“I reckon I’ll be the GOAT of my division very soon,” he said.

“To do that, you need to defend your division. I’m sick of people (changing weight classes) obviously, Conor has done that.”

While Volkanovski wants to defend the title in Australia, any plans on a potential fight must wait before he gets checked out for a potentially broken hand.

“I’d love to defend it in Australia,” Volkanovski continued.

“But right now, I’m not really thinking about dates. I need to get my hand checked out, there’s a good chance that might be broken.

“I felt it during the fight. It was maybe the second or third round, obviously, it hurt.

“I’m a little bit sore but mainly from kicking him, my shins and feet (hurt).

Volkanovski executed a master game plan in his win over Holloway, kicking the inside of the Hawaiian’s lead leg to disrupt his movement and take away his lead jab.

UFC President Dana White stated that a potential rematch between Volkanovski and Holloway is on the cards, with Australia being a likely location.

“Does he deserve a rematch? We don’t know. I’m game to fight whoever,” Volkanovski said

“I watched back the tape and I’m like ‘far out, I’ve won pretty comfortably.’

“A lot of people were dirty on the fact that two judges scored it (48-47).”

With one judge scoring all five rounds for Volkanovski, an argument could be made that a rematch is redundant. There are a host of potential matchups for Volkanovski in one of the UFC’s deepest divisions.

Former featherweight title challengers Frankie Edgar and Chan Sung Jung meet in the main event of UFC Busan this weekend. While Brian Ortega, Yair Rodriguez, and Zabit Magomedsharipov would all be intriguing matchups with Volkanovski down the line.

With the UFC’s history of giving long-reigning champions immediate rematches, however, Holloway is the likely frontrunner to get the first crack at Volkanovski’s title.

“I do think he deserves it for what he has done,” Volkanovski said.

“That would make for a big fight. Of course, I’m down. I’ll be better prepared the next time.”

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My earliest combat sports memory is watching David Tua knock people out with his left hook.  I am extremely passionate about combat sports in Australia and my home country of New Zealand and I endeavour to grow the profile of martial arts and its athletes in both countries. Persistent Brazilian jiu-jitsu battler.