Alexander Volkanovski is more than happy to face the Korean Zombie next — provided he beats Brian Ortega first.
Volkanovski recently defended his featherweight title against Max Holloway at UFC 251 earlier this month and is now looking ahead to who he will face next. The top contenders seem to be Korean Zombie and Zabit Magomedsharipov and Volkanovski agrees.
That said, he feels both of them need to win one more fight to truly cement themselves as the next in line.
“[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,” Volkanovski told Submission Radio recently. “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.”
Volkanovski Happy To Give Zombie A Beating
The Korean Zombie, meanwhile, wants Volkanovski right away as he recently called out the featherweight champion following UFC 251.
However, he was criticized by Ortega for doing so, especially as he claimed he couldn’t fight Ortega because of travel restrictions but was ready to fight Volkanovski. And Volkanovski seems to be on the side of Ortega when it comes to that matter.
“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,” Volkanovski added. “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.”
Whatever happens in the end, whoever Volkanovski faces next is guaranteed to be a barnburner thanks in part to how stacked the featherweight division currently is.
Do you agree with Volkanovski?