Emerging Australian Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight fighter Alexander Volkanovski is confident that a victory over Jeremy Kennedy this weekend at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia, will put him in a good position to land a ranked opponent in his next fight inside the Octagon.
This isn’t the first time the Aussie and Canadian have been scheduled to square off, as the pair initially agreed to face each other on the “Werdum vs. Tybura” card last November. Unfortunately, Kennedy pulled out due to injury and then his replacement Humberto Bandenay also succumbed to injury. The UFC offered Volkanovski a bout with Drex Zamboanga, who was then unable to obtain a visa in time for the fight.
Volkanovski (16-1) is on a 13-fight win streak dating back to May 2013. In Sydney last year, he beat Shane Young over three rounds to claim his third UFC victory in a row.
Volkanovski was interviewed by Bloody Elbow about the fight with Kennedy:
“[The] UFC wanted to make that happen,” he said. “We’re both 3-0 in the UFC. It makes sense. [It’s] something that he definitely wanted. Jeremy definitely wanted that fight again. But I was looking at it like, you got injured, unluckily for you, sorry to hear about that, but I’m ready to be moving forward. That’s sort of how I looked at it, but Sean Shelby really wanted that fight and, at the end of the day, you have to keep [the UFC] happy.”
“I think the winner of this will get a ranked opponent,” continued Volkanovski. “I want these ranked opponents. So if taking him out will take me high up these ranks, let’s do it.”
Volkanovski believes he holds a significant advantage in the striking game against Kennedy, but is aware of the threat Kennedy poses on the ground.
“I still believe I’m going to be better than him on the ground, but I know I’ll be better on the feet,” he said. “I’m going to be showcasing all my skills and I’ll definitely be a lot more comfortable in the striking, knowing that I’m more than happy to be there.”
Volkanovski currently resides on the east coast of New South Wales in Australia, and while the fight takes place on the west coast, he knows he will have the backing of the vocal home crowd this weekend.