Current UFC featherweight champion Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski is eyeing a match with lightweight champ Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov. In an interview with The Score, Volkanovski said that a fight between him and the lightweight champion is an option in the near future, and he is confident in the matchup.
“I don’t like people chasing other divisions, but [fighting Nurmagomedov] is definitely an option,” Volkanovski said. “Right now, got a belt to defend, and then there’s probably going be No. 1 contender [after that]. But I mean early next year, if something comes to me, like that fight, I’ll have to take it.”
Volkanovski is scheduled to defend his featherweight belt for the first time on July 11 at UFC 251 when he takes on former champ Max Holloway in a rematch. The Great then praised The Eagle as one of the greatest of all time, but he is confident that the lightweight champ couldn’t hold him down.
“Khabib is one of the GOATs as well. Nothing but respect for the dude,” Volkanovski told The Score. “But I’m very, very hard to hold down. I’ve obviously got the brains. I’ve got the cardio. I’m a freak when it comes to holding on the ground; it’s just almost impossible holding me on the ground. Nothing but respect to all the fighters that are in the UFC, but every single one of us wants to prove something. And you know, eventually, I want to prove myself in that lightweight division too.”
Volkanovski is no stranger to the lightweight division. He competed at lightweight and welterweight in small regional promotions. His first fight in the UFC was at lightweight as well — The Great made his UFC debut in November 2016 during UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Brunson when he defeated Yusuke Kasuya by second-round TKO.
Volkanovski dropped to featherweight after that bout.
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Volkanovski Is Undefeated in the UFC & Has Only 1 Professional Loss
The Great is undefeated in his eight bouts in the UFC. After defeating Kasuya in November 2016, Volkanovski found a home at featherweight. In seven wins at featherweight, Volkanovski has defeated the likes of Max Holloway, Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes and Darren Elkins.
He has five wins by decision at featherweight, and two wins by TKO.
Volkanovski has not tasted defeat for years. With a current professional MMA record of 21-1, his sole loss came in 2013 when he lost by third-round TKO to Corey Nelson at Australian Fighting Championship 5. The fight was at welterweight.
Volakanovski Won the Featherweight Belt in His Last Fight
Last year was a massive year for The Great. He fought twice and defeated two of the greatest featherweight fighters of all time. On May 11, 2019, Volkanovski fought longtime featherweight champ, Jose Aldo, at UFC 237 and won the fight by unanimous decision.
That victory earned him a shot at then-champ Max Holloway. The two met at UFC 245 on December 14, 2019, and Volkanovski put on the performance of his career, winning the fight and Holloway’s title by unanimous decision.
The two are scheduled to meet next month in Abu Dhabi for a rematch.