Alexander Volkanovski is hungry for more gold. Following a dominant victory over “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273, Volkanovski insists that he deserves a crack at the UFC lightweight championship.
UFC 274 is closing in with the main event featuring UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje. Expect Volkanovski to keep a close eye on the action as he campaigns for a champion vs. champion super fight. In the aftermath of his third successful title defense, Volkanovoski insisted that only a fight against the best at 155 pounds makes sense for him. He rejected the idea of taking on a ranked lightweight contender like Rafael dos Anjos.
“I want this title fight. I called for it because I think I earned it. We’re seeing guys get the chance at a second title for much less than what I’ve done. I don’t think I’ll waste my time unless it is for the belt,” Volkanovski said in an interview with “Morning Kombat” on Tuesday. “Obviously, I’ll talk to my team and see what they think but, I mean, when you’re doing stuff like that as well then you’re taking pay cuts for that. I think I’m in a position where I can at least ask for that. If it’s not this fight, maybe the next fight. But I believe I’m in a good position and I don’t think I need to try and climb the ladder with where I’m at. I’m undefeated at lightweight too, remember that. I’m defeated at middleweight.”
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Volkanovski argued the competitors in the featherweight division, with the exception of former champion Max Holloway, have failed to separate themselves from the pack.
“If that division were doing their part and people were trying to take the No. 1 spot and someone who took out top contenders, Max probably wouldn’t get a trilogy straight away. But because these guys are sort of sitting back and, I don’t know, trying to pick their fights and things like that, he was the only one who took out the No. 1 contenders and cemented himself as the No.1 contender. If the other contenders were doing that and there was a clear No. 1 contender, or even No. 2, they would probably be in front of Max and everyone would be screaming their name.
“While this division sorts itself out, if they don’t do their job, they’re going to sit there and wait even longer. Obviously, I’m looking at this lightweight division. I’ve done my part now. You haven’t heard me talk about the lightweight division. People have asked me about it, but I’ve never said ‘give me that fight.’ I always said, ‘I plan on doing that in the near future.’ I want to wait for the right time. I’m the type of guy that you have to earn the opportunity to do something like that. I’ve had four title fights, four wins and three defenses. I’m in the position where I can start calling for this type of shit. That’s why I feel like that is definitely an option. I want three fights this year. I’m not going to sit there and wait for the division.”
Volkanovski repeatedly dropped “Korean Zombie” over the course of three rounds. Referee Herb Dean mercifully waived off the fight early into round four after Jung was badly staggered.