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Alexander Volkanovski names two exciting fights he wants at 155 pounds

Alexander Volkanovski ponders a return to lightweight while waiting for his featherweight title shot.

Volkanovski (26-4 MMA, 13-3 UFC) lost his featherweight title to Ilia Topuria by knockout at UFC 298. The former five-time defending champion has been urged to take some time off after back-to-back knockout losses to Islam Makhachev and Topuria, so he won’t be getting the immediate rematch he desired.

Instead, Topuria is expected to make his first title defense against Max Holloway later in the year, and Volkanovski would like to stay busy – at lightweight.

“For me right now, what excites me?” Volkanovski said on FREESTYLEBENDER. “The things that excite me in featherweight, it’s just the belt – obviously the rematch and the belt? That’s big. I’m still that competitor where, ‘All right, this is my division. I’m getting it back. I want that win back’ – things like that. So it’s going to be there. But then at lightweight, let’s have some fun while we’re waiting. I think they’re probably going to do Max and Ilia September,

“I told the UFC I didn’t want to fight till later in the year. I really committed to that in my head. Now I’ve started training, I’m like, ‘I wish I didn’t tell them that.’ So I did that, but that’s fair. I did say, ‘Look, I don’t want to wait too long, either.’ I’m in a position now where if they do that and they want me to fight bloody in March or something, or April, I was like, ‘Oh, well, all right, I’m going to fight a lightweight. Give me exciting fights.’”

Volkanovski challenged lightweight champion Makhachev twice, but fell short in both opportunities. Two particular names stand out as desired fights for Volkanovski at 155 pounds.

“I want an exciting fighter like a Charles Oliveira,” Volkanovski said. “I did call out (Dustin) Poirier after that. He’s a great dude. We get along. I think he’s a good man and he’s obviously a big, fun fight. There’s still history there with mutual opponents. He used to fight at featherweight, things like that, and obviously a big name – fun fight, that would be. So that’s exciting.

“Charles Oliveira, there’s a lot of exciting fights that I would love to do while I’m waiting as well. So yeah – just whatever excites me. The belt excites me. Ilia, obviously, rematch excites me. So that’s the main thing in the featherweight. I wouldn’t just fight anyone in featherweight because my next fight’s for the title, and that’s that.”

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