The UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is amused by the possibility of fighting reigning bantamweight champion, Henry Cejudo. The Australian native is confident he would “squash” the American inside of the Octagon.
“Triple C” has placed Jose Aldo and Alexander Volkanovski at the top of his matchup wishlist- despite the fact that Volkanovski is a weight category above. Cejudo previously held both the bantamweight and flyweight belts before relinquishing the latter for lack of title defences. If he was to defeat the featherweight champion, this would make Cejudo the first UFC fighter to hold belts in three divisions.
However, the current 145-pound champion doesn’t see that happening any time soon:
“I think it’s cute, little Cejudo, I think it’s cute,” Volkanovski chuckled to ESPN. “Nah, I’m only kidding, I’m probably only a little bit taller than him. But I’m too smart and when it comes to power, I’ll squash him. He better be careful what he wishes for.
“Nothing but respect to him, he’s done some cool things. But you don’t want nothing of that [a fight against Volkanovski], I honestly don’t think he wants [anything] of that.”
Despite his confidence, Volkanovski has only recently claimed the featherweight throne. He outpointed the former champion, Max Holloway, to win by unanimous decision in December 2019. He is currently healing from a hand injury obtained in the bout, but expects his first title defence to be announced next week:
“The hand’s all right, it’s not too bad,” he said. “Obviously I’ve been training the whole time and doing a lot of strength and conditioning; a lot of left-hand [jabs] and left hooks. Now I’m starting to drill some light wrestling and light grappling, stuff like that, but I’ve just got to be careful.
“Obviously I can’t put too much weight on it and slam my hand down or punch too hard; I’ve worked my way around it but I’m finally able to do some more stuff. I’m getting a few sessions in a day, which is good because I hate sitting on the sidelines.”
There is a possibility that Volkanovski could rematch Holloway in his first title defence. If not, “The Great” only wants to face a worthy opponent:
“I’m not going to just fight anyone,” he said. “As I said when I won that belt, it was earned not given. People that are ranked sixth but they think they’ve got a decent name, and they cut right in front of the line, I don’t think that’s fair. Again, do I have that pull or that choice? I don’t know, it depends on what the UFC gives me. But I want to get the guys that deserve that [title shot] just like I did. Go out there and take that No. 1 contender spot and come fight me.
“If they do believe that Max is the man, that he deserves that rematch … he was a great champion and probably does deserve that rematch if that’s really what he wants. I don’t even know if he wants that? But we’ll give it to him. Whoever earns it or deserves it, bring it on.”
Possible opponents could be number 2 ranked featherweight, Brian Ortega, who is currently recovering from a knee injury. Number 3 ranked prospect, Zabit Magomedsharipov could also be an option. Who would you like to see Alexander Volkanovski face in his first title defence? Sound off in the comments below!