Alex Volkanovski

UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski is 2-0 against Max Holloway, and as far as he is concerned, it’s time for a new challenger.

While UFC president Dana White recently stated a third meeting between the two could be made, Volkanovski told Submission Radio he is ready to move on.

Check out more from the interview with Volkanovski below.

How the fight island experienced made his fight feel different

“It was definitely different. It was different. With me, as I’m sure we’ve talked about how it feels to go into world titles, even with a crowd, and I always say how composed I am and I keep my focus on keeping myself composed and clearheaded and level. I want to be level going into that fight so I can work a game plan and do what needs to be done. But this time, it was like I was that level and that clearheaded that it was like I wasn’t even fighting. It was like I was literally right now having a chat to you guys while I was in there. So, it was definitely different [with] no crowd. Maybe I need that crowd to keep a good balance for me. So, again, I always saw I believe I’ve got a one-up on my opponents, because I reckon the crowds and the atmosphere will sometimes get to them a little bit. Where me, I can keep myself real level. Where in this case, it was like a negative effect. So, it was like I was that chill that I was just like, eh. So chill in there. It was like… it was weird. So, I had to get punched in the face a couple of times to start waking up. You know what I mean? It was crazy. It was definitely different. But, I mean, at least I experienced that now and I’m aware of that. So, if I have to do it again, maybe I’ll let the emotions go a little bit, maybe I’ll try not to control the nerves, try to have a little bit of that adrenalin going, just so I can keep on my toes, if that makes sense.”

On Dana White suggesting a Max Holloway trilogy fight next

It’s pretty clear that like, you win back-to-back, two wins in a row. To make a third one, it just doesn’t really make sense, especially right now. Again, we know that last fight was close, but the judges gave me the decision, and that’s that. And in the first fight, even though it was competitive, I pretty clearly won that fight. So, to just give him another rematch straight away and put the division on hold, it just doesn’t make any sense.”

“I ended up listening to what he was saying, and look, he was throwing it out there, but at the same time saying exactly what I’m saying. The division, we’ve got all these guys about to fight, and by the end of the year we’re gonna have a clear number one, and you’re just gonna keep giving Max rematches?”

“It was a close fight, and I understand why people want to see the fight again, but at the same time, I won twice back to back. So, it just doesn’t really make sense right now. It’s something that it can definitely be a big fight in the future as well. But for right now, I’ve got a division that I want to hold and I don’t want to keep on hold. So, I want number one contenders, I want some fresh blood in there. So, we’ll see who that is.”

On whether it’s fair for him to have to fight Max Holloway again straight away

“Yeah, fair? You want to talk about fair? Yeah, it’s not really. But again, it was a close fight, and there’s a lot of people that are gonna have their opinions, and I understand that, it’s a part of the game, it happens all the time. But at the same time, you know, as Dana said himself, there’s judges, that’s their job, and they went in there, and I truly do believe that they made the right decision. Especially watching back the tape. As I said to you guys, I watched back the tape a couple of times, and you look at the official stats, and it shows that the guys did a good job. It was such a close fight. So, you can’t really hate on them. But I sort of feel sorry for them as well. They’re getting bashed by everyone, when I believe they made the right decision. So, it’s just, I feel for them. But at the same time, it just doesn’t make sense. So, I’m ready to move on right now. Again, I want number one contenders, as I’ve been saying. It doesn’t mean that Max will never get a shot again. He can go, fight a few times and come back around, and if there’s no one else, hey, I need that number one contender, I need that next guy in line. But right now, I don’t believe he’s next in line. Especially coming off back to back losses. Again, I got a lot of respect for Max. Great fighter. Going into that second fight, we knew this is the toughest match-up in our division, and I still took that rematch, when a lot of people thought, why would you even need to do a rematch after that first fight?

“But again, there was no one else, and again, we did say that Max does deserve the rematch cause he’s a great champion. But we had another close fight, and put it this way, that was his chance, that was the day. If he was ever gonna beat me, I believe that was the day to do it. And again, he came close, he done well, but I just pulled away with the win and dug deep and showed what champions are made of. So, credit to Max, but I’m ready to move on. And let’s see what happens and let’s let the division play out a little bit. And I’m sure he’ll be back. Like I said, I do believe outside me, he’s the next best fighter in our division. I believe he won’t really have big dramas with opponents, so he’ll probably be back there again. And again, like I said, I’m an easy champ to understand. If you’re there and there’s no one else, let’s do it.”

On the UFC offering Max so many rematches

“Look, man, I gave Max a rematch for them. The UFC didn’t give me anything else but the rematch. My team weren’t too happy about that, but again, I ended up saying, you know what, there’s no one else, I still think this is the biggest fight for me on that card as well – cause there was no clear number ones, so I think that was the biggest fight, and that’s why I wanted to do it. So, we ended up making it worth it on a big card like it was and we made it happen. And right now, you can already see that Dana totally understands why the third match probably isn’t going to happen. You can already hear him talking about that he wouldn’t mind it, but he’s saying, I highly doubt that’s going to happen. Cause again, even if you look, I haven’t actually got to see what people are saying cause I’m not going to go through the comments too much, but I’ve talked to a few people, and in the comments of where all these headlines are like, ‘Dana wants the trilogy’ and what not, supposedly everyone’s in there like, ‘nah, we don’t want the third fight’. Supposedly everyone’s like, ‘let’s move on and run it back another time’. Again, that just shows you, there’s a lot of people that are obviously gonna have diehard Max fans that are gonna want to keep pushing it, and I totally understand, but there’s guys that go, it’s a close fight, could have gone either way, but it’s just silly having a third fight. So, this is what I’m being told everyone is saying. So, is that what people want? I don’t even know. I probably would maybe consider it if there was no other fight and this was the fight that everyone wanted, but it seems like everyone wants us to move on anyway.”

“The division needs to play out, and we got a whole division, there’s so many of us. We’ve got 15 people that are ranked for a reason, and what, we’re just gonna keep fighting until Max wins? You know what I mean? It just doesn’t make sense. So, I guess that’s why everyone understands that and everyone’s being vocal about it.”

On who Alex wants next

“[Korean] Zombie keeps running his mouth, even though he’s got another one before him, but I mean, still, that’s always intriguing, that’s a fun fight. You know he’s just going to look for the finish, which, again, if someone is just going to be aggressive like that, that’s good for me, that’s a fun fight. Same with even Zabit as well. I think they’re the two frontrunners, Zabit and Zombie. But again, they just need a fight. Someone just needs a fight, get an impressive win and I guarantee you, everyone’s going to be screaming their name. I guarantee you, if Zombie knocks out Ortega or Zabit knocks out or does a crazy submission to Yair Rodriguez, I guarantee you, guys are gonna be like, ‘that’s the fight I want’. You guys will be, everyone will be. So, that’s the fight I want. I want an exciting fight and I want a person that everyone goes, this has to be the guy, he’s gonna do it. Man, I hope I’m the underdog. I mean, I love it. I love people saying this is the guy that’s going to take him out, and then I go out and prove them wrong again.”

If he wants fight Korean Zombie because of his recent comments about him as champion

“I want the bullies, but at the same time, it seems like the bullies are his manager or something, which already got a good slapping from Ortega so they shut up for a while. Zombie’s a pretty cool dude, but if he’s gonna let his team run their mouths, he deserves a beating for it as well. But definitely. That’s a good fight. But with Ortega saying he doesn’t believe Zombie, you can’t really believe him for saying that because supposedly Zombie can fight me, but can’t fight Ortega. So, it just doesn’t really make sense. So, he’s calling me out saying he wants to fight me and blah, blah, blah, but at the same time telling Ortega that he’s got these restrictions and he can’t fight. So, you can see where Ortega’s coming with that.”

When he wants to return

“End of the year. You know what I mean? End of the year, I think that’s pretty realistic. Again, we’re in pretty challenging times, so to go ‘let’s do one right away’ and go through all the protocols, it wasn’t easy. This camp was different, very different. There was a lot of hurdles you had to jump the whole way through, and to just do that right away would be quite annoying. But let’s see at the end of the year if things quieten down and things ease up a little bit, ,aybe the process will be easier. But if not, if the protocols are the same, at least I’ll be eager to fight and I’ll be like, ‘who cares, let’s just get this out of the way, I want to fight’. But right now, it’s like, stuff doing all that again. Let’s just let the division play out. I’m the champ and I’m having more fights than these contenders. I tried telling them, guys, you’re one fight away from a title shot. Again, this is an easy division to understand. You get that number one spot, you get a title shot. No bullshitting about it. Plain and simple. And you’re one fight away from that. Make it happen. Go out there, take someone out. Boom, you can get a title shot before the year is out. I ain’t gonna promise you you’re gonna win that title shot thoug. You can get there, get that title shot, I know that’s what you want. But I’m gonna pull away with the win anyway, and I’m gonna stay with this belt for a long time.”

On Henry Cejudo repeatedly calling him out

“He definitely lives up to his name when it’s the cringe, but I always thought the cringe was just things he said, but now it’s getting cringy how much he’s begging for a title fight. He just doesn’t stop. It’s cringy how you retire, and you call out everyone, stirring shit everywhere. It just seems like he’s even stirring the pot in the divisions that he retired in. So, he’s still like, I don’t know, still getting lippy to some of the guys back down there, but obviously he’s calling me out. And again, if it was gonna happen it was earlier in the year. But again, I’ve got a division to hold and I’ve got my eye on the division, I want these number one contenders. And if for some reason the UFC pushed that on me, like I said, I’ve got to get paid for it, because it’s just a waste of time for me, I believe. A waste of time for the division.”

On why fighting Cejudo is waste of time

“I believe so. For my legacy, for the GOAT status I’m saying that I’m chasing now, and the division, waste of the division’s time. Again, he’s done great thing things in flyweight and bantamweight, but I mean, featherweight is whole different beast. That’s why it’s never been done. I get why he wants to chase it. It makes sense. Again, it’s a win-win for him. I go out there and mop the floor with him, ‘ah yeah, he’s a lot bigger, blah, blah, blah’. That’s why it just doesn’t make sense for me, cause everyone’s just going to sort of expect me to go out there and mop the floor. And that’s pretty much exactly what’s going to happen. No disrespect to Henry Cejduo, but it’s a whole different breed in this division. So, it would just be a waste of time. I’d go out there and then everyone will be like going, ‘oh yeah, you’re fighting smaller guys, blah, blah, blah, you wait till you fight the guys in your division, blah, blah, blah’. So, for me it’s just a waste of time. Against, he’s done great things and I can see why he’s chasing that third belt, but it ain’t gonna happen. Even if he gets a chance at it, he ain’t taking that belt from me, I can guarantee you that.”

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