UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is gunning for the lightweight belt in the wake of his dominant win over Max Holloway in their trilogy bout at UFC 276. The Australian broke his right hand in the second round but showed his resilience to go on and outclass the Hawaiian over five rounds.
Speaking in his post-fight interview Volkanovski, who has spent a lot of time training in Phuket, said,
“I want to be in this octagon as much as possible. I want to be busy. I don’t think this division can keep me busy by itself. I want to move up, go for double champ and I’ll keep two divisions busy. So, Charles (Oliveira) whoever gets that belt, nothing but respect (but) I would love to move up, (and) get double champ status.”
🗣 "DON'T EVER BACK DOWN!"
— UFC (@ufc) July 3, 2022
There is a strong argument for the Australian being the greatest featherweight of all-time. He’s on a remarkable 22 fight winning streak which includes victories over Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo, Brian Ortega and The Korean Zombie.
Now 33 years old and clearly in the form of his life Volkanovski is keen to keep the momentum going. Speaking during the post-fight press conference he said,
“Let me see what’s happening with (my hand). It gives me time to see what’s happening and maybe see what’s happening in my division. I want to be active, but if it’s not opponents, it’s maybe injuries that might slow me down a little bit.”
But the 33 year old is at the pinnacle of the sport and wants to compete as frequently as possible,
“I need to stay active, and I want that double champ status. And like I said, I can stay active enough, and I’ve proved that. What is it, three fights in nine months? I just fought three months ago, not many champions are doing that.”
After pitching a five round shutout, @AlexVolkanovski is bringing the belt back to Windang 🇦🇺
— UFC (@ufc) July 3, 2022
Volkanovski does not believe here is enough competition at featherweight to keep him as active as he wants to be. He sees a move to 155lbs as a possible solution,
“I don’t think I can get a #1 contender that quick and keep me that busy (at featherweight) so give me another division.”
The lightweight belt is currently vacant but it’s expected that former champion Charles Oliveira will face either Beneil Dariush or Islam Mackhachev for the strap in the near future. Volkanovski is currently ranked as the #2 pound for pound fighter in the UFC so could potentially jump that queue and be handed an immediate title shot.
He has already proven himself to be the best featherweight in the world. Now Volkanovski wants to prove he is the best fighter in the world by winning a UFC belt in a second division.