Alexander Volkanovski believes nobody has a stronger claim for a shot at Max Holloway’s featherweight title than him.
The Aussie was already a surging contender who was undefeated in the UFC. However, he further strengthened his claim by defeating Jose Aldo via unanimous decision at UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Aldo was the No. 1 contender in the UFC rankings, and while the fight wasn’t exactly entertaining, Volkanovski was still impressive in shutting the Brazilian down on enemy turf.
“I fought a good fight,” he said at the post-fight press conference. “I stuck to the game plan. I knew I was going to make it hard for him to pull the trigger. Thought he would have pulled the trigger a bit more and took a few more risks, and that’s where I would have capitalized and got the finish.
“At the same time, I got him so worried about what I was doing. That’s why I came away with the win. [A] 30-27 [decision] over a legend like that is just unreal and we all know what I want next. I want that title.”
Fighting Holloway In Australia
Volkanovski has spoken in the past of potentially fighting Holloway on the same card as Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya’s proposed middleweight title unification fight.
That contest is expected to take place in Sydney in October, and “The Great” reiterated his desire to have that happen.
“Let’s do it. I’m told they want to have a card in Australia. Whittaker and Israel Adesanya, I would love to be on that card too. Let’s make that happen.”
Of course, Holloway just competed last month in a grueling five-round war with Dustin Poirier. There is no guarantees as to whether he will be able to compete again by September.
Volkanovski has no problems if that is the case, and would even fight for an interim title in the meantime. However, he feels he’s worthy of having a shot at the real belt for his next fight.
“It depends how long will I have to wait,” he explained. “If he’s injured for that long, the interim titles are getting thrown around a bit, I’ll fight for an interim title and make that championship money.
“But I want that title. As you said, my claim is rock solid, I’m undefeated, I just beat the No. 1 contender. I’m the guy, I really am. I’ve come to Brazil and took the King of Rio out. I said once I do that, I’ll be the guy that everyone’s saying deserves that title so I just want that shot.”