After the biggest win of his career defeating Brazilian icon Jose Aldo in his hometown of Rio De Janeiro, Alex Volkanovski has cemented himself as the number 1 contender in the featherweight division, handing Aldo his first loss outside of a title fight. While respectful of Aldo and his accomplishments he, labeled Aldo as “another body” on his record in the post-fight press conference.
Volkanovski is ready to move on to the champion Max Holloway who is looking for a challenge after cleaning out the other top contenders and having a super fight at 155 against Dustin Poirier.
On a 17-fight win streak and 7-0 in the UFC, Volkanovski believes he is next in line to challenge Holloway and that talks of Frankie Edgar getting the shot are misguided.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Frankie,” Volkanovski said at the UFC 237 post-fight press conference.
“It’s unfortunate what happened to him, he took a risk, it didn’t work out, I’m sorry. At the same time, I just beat Aldo and he’s coming off a loss and he lost to Aldo. Aldo was ranked number 1; I think it’s a no brainer.”
17 wins in a row
Undefeated in the UFC
Knocked out Chad Mendes
Dominated Jose Aldo
Alex Volkanovski's claim for a title shot is undeniable
Photo credit 📸 Alexandre Schneider / Stringer pic.twitter.com/JCU6Ge3OUv
— Fight News Australia (@fightnewsaus) May 13, 2019
When asked how long he is willing to wait for Holloway, Volkanovski said he just wants a belt.
“It depends how long I have to wait,” Volkanovski said.
“If he’s injured for that long interim titles are getting thrown around a bit, I’ll fight for an interim title and make that championship money. I don’t mind (who it’s against) I just want that title.”
While the title shot is the ultimate goal for Volkanovski, he would love for it to be on the same card as Israel Adesanya vs Robert Whittaker in Australia.
“I’m told they want to have a card in Australia for the fight between Whittaker and Israel Adesanya, I’d love to be on that card too, let’s make it happen.”
Despite coming off a loss, Max Holloway is undoubtedly still one of the best pound for pound fighters in the UFC. Volkanovski challenging Holloway for the featherweight title on the same card as Whittaker v Adesanya would be history-making for Australian MMA.
While there is no official announcement for a card in Australia, Dana White has announced that he has put his team out to find a stadium to hold an event sometime later this year where Robert Whittaker will defend his belt against Israel Adesanya. Adding a second title fight would create enormous buzz and many predict it would challenge as one of the biggest events in Australian sports history.