A new featherweight star was born over the weekend (Sat. December 29, 2018) in California.
Alex Volkanovski defeated former UFC featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes to open up the UFC 232 pay-per-view (PPV) card. Volkanovski joins an exclusive group of competitors who have been able to pull off the difficult feat. Mendes has only ever lost to Jose Aldo (twice), Conor McGregor, Frankie Edgar, and now Volkanovski.
After his win, Volkanovski called out 145-pound champion Max Holloway. He spoke to MMA Junkie soon after to explain:
“I called out Max Holloway, not because I think, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m definitely the next in line,’” Volkanovski said. “(Renato) Moicano was probably next in line, but he missed weight. I’m hearing a lot of people say, ‘What’s left for (Holloway) in this division?’
“He hasn’t fought a wrestler, really, for a while – a good, strong wrestler and a big puncher. Until he takes out someone like me or Frankie Edgar, then you can say he’s took out everybody in the division. I really think that.”
The 27-year-old featherweight champion is currently on a 13-fight win streak. His latest win came in dominant fashion over Brian Ortega at UFC 231 in Toronto earlier this month (Sat. December 8, 2018). After the win, Holloway and UFC President Dana White teased a move up to 155 pounds for “Blessed.””
But it’s hard to deny match-ups against grapplers such as Volkanovski and Edgar are intriguing ones for the Hawaiian.