UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski revealed to MMA Junkie on Tuesday that all the noise being made by former flyweight and bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo over facing him next was just that: noise. Volkanovski said no matter what fans and media see online from Cejudo about the two fighters potentially facing each other next in a massive superfight, the truth of the matter is that nobody from the UFC has ever actually brought the idea to Volkanovski for the champ to consider.
“It’s funny, I have a laugh about it, but I don’t know how people are taking it if they really think that I’m not signing some contract that supposedly I’m meant to sign,” Volkanovski said per MMA Junkie. “No one has talked to me about this at all, except Cejudo. I just keep seeing him begging, absolutely begging Dana White to give him a shot.”
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) September 10, 2020
Volkanovski Wants Division’s Top Contenders Next Over Cejudo
Volkanovski told MMA Junkie that he wants to be the kind of UFC champ who faces and defeats top contenders in the division over one who simply tries to cash in against the biggest names.
The 31-year-old Australian MMA champ believes that the UFC’s 145-pound division is packed with top-flight contenders right now and that they’re the ones who deserve the next crack at UFC gold.
“It’s the cringe, what are you going to do? If it was going to ever happen, it had to be before,” Volkanovski said. “Now look at the division. We got all these guys that are fighting for the No. 1 contender (spot). For me to take a fight later this year with Cejudo, it just does not make sense.”
Still, Volkanovksi wouldn’t shut the door on the possibility of him facing the 35-year-old American somewhere down the line.
“Again, I want the No. 1 contenders, but if the UFC just really did push that on me, alright fine,” Volkanovski said. “I’ll whoop his ass then I can take on a No. 1 contender. But again, that’s not me. I want to be the type of champion that takes on No. 1 contenders.”
Volkanovski’s Last 2 Fights Came Against Former Champion
Volkanovski narrowly defeated Max Holloway at UFC 251 in July.
That was his second straight win over the former champ and first defense of his 145-pound title. Now, Volkanovski seems to be locked in on letting a new contender emerge.
Per MMA Junkie’s Farah Hannoun: “There are two pivotal featherweight clashes in the mix – Chan Sung Jung vs. Brian Ortega, as well as a potential rumored bout between Zabit Magomedsharipov and Yair Rodriguez – and Volkanovski expects the No. 1 contender to emerge from those two matchups.”
Moreover, Volkanovski’s second win over Holloway was anything but clear-cut, so there might still be room for a third fight between the two men in the future.
So Volkanovski would seem to have plenty of options beyond Cejudo for his next fight.
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Cejudo Retired After UFC 249
Meanwhile, Cejudo retired at the top of his game after trouncing former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz at UFC 249.
“I’m retiring tonight,” Cejudo told Joe Rogan during the post-fight interview after scoring the second-round knockout. “I’m 33 years old. I’m happy with my career. Uncle Dana, I want to say thank you for everything. You’re the man. Everybody here, thank you so much.”
Cejudo retired the fourth-ever simultaneous UFC double champion as well as the only Olympic gold-medal winner in history to ever capture UFC gold.
But in recent months, Cejudo has literally been seen on social media begging UFC president Dana White for the chance to challenge Volkanovski for the UFC featherweight title.
Volkanovski vs. Cejudo might be an intriguing fight on paper, and Cejudo might be talking it up on social media, but Volkanovski just doesn’t see it happening anytime soon.
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