New UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is set to have surgery on his broken hand that will keep him on the shelf for the foreseeable future.
Volkanovski defeated Max Holloway by unanimous decision in the co-main event of UFC 245 to win the title and emerge as a new global star in MMA. But he suffered a broken hand during the fight and it will keep him on the sidelines and unable to defend his belt anytime soon.
Volkanovski spoke to Submission Radio about the severity of the injury in a recent interview. Here’s what he said.
“I just wanted to give everyone a head’s up that I broke my hand. Yeah, I broke it. So I got X-rays done and I need to go into surgery tomorrow. I don’t think the operation’s too crazy, but there’s a couple of breaks in there, so I’m going to have to get that sorted. I’ll let you know more about that tomorrow,” Volkanovski said.
Volkanovski has not yet given a timetable for his return, but you’d have to expect him to be on the shelf for a few months while he heals up.
It’s obviously not the ideal way Volkanovski would want to start his UFC featherweight title reign, but it’s not the end of the world. Quite frankly, it’s a well-deserved break for the new champ, who could use a break after a busy 2019 that saw him defeat the consensus two greatest featherweights of all-time in Jose Aldo and Holloway this year alone.
When Volkanovski does return he could fight Holloway in a rematch as UFC president Dana White says that’s what he prefers. But by the time he’s ready to come back, there could be other contenders that have emerged for Volkanovski’s belt, including Zabit Magomedsharipov, The Korean Zombie, and Yair Rodriguez, to name a few.
Who do you think Alexander Volkanovski should fight in his return to the Octagon once he heals up from his broken hand?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/19/2019.