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Alexander Volkanovski wants exciting lightweight fights while waiting for featherweight title shot

Former featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski took some time off following his knockout loss to Ilia Topuria at UFC 298 in February.  Back to training, “The Great” looks to the future.

Topuria is expected to defend the 145-pound belt against former titleholder Max Holloway later this year.  In the meantime, Volkanovski would like to take on some big names in the lightweight division while he waits for a featherweight title shot. 

“For me right now, what excites me?” Volkanovski said on Israel Adesanya’s YouTube channel.  “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 in bloody March or something, or April, I was like, ‘Oh, well, all right, I’m going to fight a lightweight. Give me exciting fights.’”

While waiting to see how Topuria and Holloway plays out, Volkanovski wants to fight a couple of top lightweights.  During the interview, Volkanovski mentioned two names in the 155-pound weight class that he’s be excited to face.

“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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