When Alex Volkanovski defeated former UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo at UFC 237, the expectation was that he would soon be awarded a title shot opposite reigning champion Max Holloway.
“My claim is rock solid,” Volkanovski said post-fight fight. “I’m undefeated. I just beat the No. 1 contender. So I’m the guy. I really am.”
As it turns out, he’s not the guy. Not yet at least.
Instead, the next shot at Holloway has been awarded to former UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. The pair will meet at UFC 240 in July. Edgar has been scheduled to fight Holloway three times previously to no avail, but is only on a one-fight win-streak — so it’s easy to understand why some fans were confused by this booking.
Alex Volkanovski was initially quite quiet about this Frankie Edgar vs. Max Holloway fight — but only because he was laid over in a Chilean hospital with a blood infection. Now that he’s safely back home in Australia, he’s taken a moment to comment on this surprising booking.
While he admits he was initially pretty disappointed, he says he’s come to grips with the UFC’s decision, as he never planned on fighting until the fall anyway.
“I was pretty pissed off with timing of the announcement Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar,” Alex Volkanovski wrote in a recent Instagram post. “In saying that, the plan for me was always fighting for the belt later this year, and the UFC have made it clear as #1contender, I’m next in line. I wish Max & Frankie all the best, and I look forward to meeting either of you in the octagon later in the year.”
Alex Volkanovski is a fantastic 20-1 overall, and 7-0 since joining the UFC. Outside of his victory over Aldo — by the far the biggest win of his career — he’s also defeated top talent like Chad Mendes, Darren Elkins and Jeremy Kennedy.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/20/2019.