Alexander Volkanovski won’t be competing against featherweight champion Max Holloway at UFC 240 in July, as the promotion elected to give the title shot to former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. However, the Aussie is confident his time will come.
Volkanovski is coming off his most impressive performance in his professional career, dominating former featherweight king Jose Aldo for three rounds during their fight at UFC 237 last month in Rio de Janeiro. “The Great” seemed likely to challenge Holloway for the title next, especially considering Australia will play host to the biggest MMA event in its history when fellow Aussie Robert Whittaker takes on the Nigerian-born New-Zealand-based Israel Adesanya to unify the middleweight belt later this year.
Volkanovski was a guest on MMAFighting.com‘s “The MMA Hour” and said he deserves to be fighting Holloway given his performance over Aldo and believes the pair should meet down under at the UFC 243:
“I should get a fight with Max Holloway, definitely, 100 percent I deserve that title fight,” Volkanovski told host Luke Thomas. “He doesn’t want to fight in Australia, I guess he’s the champ, whatever. But he’s game, he knows the Australian fans will love him as well. Everybody knows that’s gonna be a cracker of a fight, so I don’t think it will be as hostile a crowd or something like he’d have to worry like it is in Rio, I think that would be a bit more crazy than it would be in Australia. I reckon he’d do it and we just need to make it happen.
“It would be a cracker of a fight and I’m sure the world wants to see it.”
The 30-year-old was asked how he would beat Holloway in a hypothetical fight and was confident in getting the win before highlighting his cardio and wrestling as two of his biggest weapons the Hawaiian would struggle to deal with.
“I just still fight my fight,” Volkanovski said when asked how he’d beat Holloway. “Look, he’s a gamer, he comes forward, he does a lot of the work for me. That’s why I’m a bad matchup for him, I really do believe that.
“He’s the type of person that does come forward and he’s not the hardest hitter, he’s got a lot of volume, but again if you’re there trying to throw volume at me, you’re gonna receive some and they’re gonna be heavy and they’re gonna be powerful. Then you’ve got my wrestling to worry about, then you’ve got everything else to worry about. I’ve got many tools that he needs to worry about, so I believe it’s a very dangerous fight for him. But he’s game, he’d be keen, let’s make it happen.”
Holloway has looked unbeatable at featherweight; however when the champion moved up to fight Dustin Poirier for the interim 155-pound belt at UFC 236, Holloway lost and appeared to be at a noticeable power disadvantage. Holloway’s loss to Poirier hasn’t changed the mindset of Volkanovski, however, who claims he was always confident the Hawaiian was beatable.
“I always knew that he could be beat,” Volkanovski said. “I always knew that I was a bad matchup for him. It was probably better for everyone else to realize that he’s not invincible, everyone thought he was just unstoppable, which I don’t blame them, obviously he’s looked really good, much respect to him.
“But at the same time, I knew he wasn’t invincible, that just showed and let’s be realistic, I’ve got cardio for days and I will not gas and I will be powerful the whole time, so I’m a very, very bad matchup for him I believe.”