Alexander Volkanovski Wants to Defend 145 Belt Against The “Clear No. 1 Contender” Next
Many people have argued that Max Holloway should receive an immediate rematch with Alexander Volkanovski. But, it sounds like the UFC's new featherweight champ isn't sold on that idea.
As a result of Max Holloway’s awe-inspiring run in the featherweight division, many fans and observers have argued that “Blessed” should receive an immediate rematch with Alexander Volkanovski. But, while the UFC’s new featherweight champ hasn’t said he won’t fight Holloway again, he’s calling for a clear contender to emerge.
Volkanovski wants to fight the “no.1 contender”
Volkanovski faced Holloway at UFC 245 last month, and he snapped the Hawaiian star’s 14 fight winning streak at 145, via a unanimous decision win. Due to that streak, and because Holloway defeated stars like Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar and Brian Ortega during his reign as champ, calls for an immediate rematch have been made.
But, while talking to MMA Junkie recently, Volkanovski had this to say about his next fight:
“I’m sitting on the sidelines with a broken hand, and there’s people that are coming up,” Volkanovski said. “There are all these guys that want titles, but it depends on potential matchups, but no one is the clear No. 1 contender. That’s what’s sort of (happening) right now. While I’ve got a broken hand, why doesn’t someone go and take that No. 1 contender spot?”
“There are fights you need to fight to put yourself in a position where no one can take it away from them, just like I had done when I was in Canada,” Volkanovski said. “The weight cut was terrible to back up for the title fight. Going to Brazil to fight the No. 1 contender Aldo and going to a different country just knowing that that’s how you get the No. 1 contender spot, I went and done it. I just think that this is an opportunity for guys that, if they really want that title fight, again I’m looking to fight mid-year, hopefully something like that. People have to go and take that No. 1 spot. Go and take it.”
Volkanovski also stated that he’s willing to fight any of the top featherweights next. But, the fact he didn’t outright say Holloway deserves a rematch is interesting.
So what could be next for Volkanovski?
Ultimately, it could depend on whether Holloway demands an immediate rematch. If he does, then it wouldn’t be surprising if the UFC granted him his wish. Historically, Holloway has seemed down to fight pretty much anyone. So, if the UFC calls on him to fight another top contender at 145 in the interim, then it wouldn’t be surprising if Holloway signed up. Another possibility is that Holloway could decided to return to 155, and attempt to make a run there.
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The good news is that there are plenty of contenders in the 145 division, like Chan Sung Jung, Zabit Magomedsharipov, Yair Rodriguez and Ortega.