Alex Volkanovski said victory over Max Holloway at UFC276 would make him the division’s greatest of all time, before he chases becoming just the sport’s fifth double champion.
The featherweight king is currently on an 11-fight win streak after his annihilation of Jung Chang-sun – the Korean Zombie – at UFC273, and is ready to re-defend his title within three months.
The 33-year-old from Warilla on the New South Wales south coast told Daily Mail Australia he’s ready to settle the rivalry with Holloway in the trilogy and revealed he tried to have the fight in his home country.
Alex Volkanovski will defend his title against Max Holloway at UFC276 – the trilogy fight for the two greatest featherweight fighters in the sport’s history
‘The UFC came to use to see what we wanted to do. It was obvious. They asked if I wanted to fight Max, I just wanted it to be in Australia, that’s what I wanted,’ he said.
‘That’s not possible any time soon unfortunately, but I said I’m not waiting. I was unscathed from the last night. I want to be the GOAT of my division and the best pound for pound. That all comes with this win.’
Volkanovski, who has convincingly beaten every challenge the featherweight division has thrown at him, admitted the challenge of moving up is still at the forefront of his mind but said he had unfinished business with Holloway.
The Hawaiian won the first matchup between the two before Volkanovski won the belt in 2020 via unanimous decision.
Volkanovski turned in perhaps his most dominant performance to date against the Korean Zombie at UFC273
A rematch has been on the cards ever since, with Volkanovski already armed with the blueprint to stopping Holloway.
‘I’ve already done three or four camps for this bloke. Even when he fought Frankie Edgar, then he got injured, I was preparing for him,’ the Aussie told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I’ve got a style that wherever he wants to take this fight, it’s going to be bad for him.’
Volkanovski was able to use the time in between beating the Korean Zombie and preparing for Holloway to get away with his young family for the first time since the pandemic started.
Vokanovski, pictured left with wife Emma and daughters Ariana and Ariel, spent some time off with his family after defeating Jung Chang-sun in UFC273
‘It was good to get a little trip away with the family before they go back to school and I go back into training,’ he said. ‘We haven’t been able to do that for a long time without all the chaos around quarantines.’
Volkanovski, who has started working with his hometown St George Illawarra Dragons, said coaching has reignited his love for sport.
‘It’s made me love rugby league even more, doing that stuff with the Dragons. I never used to watch much, but now I make sure I make time to watch.’
The former prop, who won the Mick Cronin Medal in 2010 for the best player in the highly-regarded South Coast Rugby League, did admit the size of the current players doesn’t see him missing the game.
Volkanovski said Oliveira is still regarded as the true lightweight champion but should have been more prepared to meet the weight that cost him his title
‘If anything I look at it and say: ‘I’m glad I’m doing what I’m doing’. I watch rugby league and think ‘stuff that’,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Even though I get punched in the face for a living. I could only imagine what those people think when they see what I do.
‘I still reckon I’d do pretty good though.’
Volkanovski has admitted he wants to become just the UFC’s fifth double champion, with Charles Oliveira having to vacate his lightweight belt because he came in half a pound overweight for his recent fight against Justin Gaethje.
The Aussie UFC star also said Michael Chandler’s brutal knockout ‘scared’ him
He said while the situation was ‘unfortunate’, the competition still sees Oliveira as the champion and said he should have given himself more time to ensure he was below the cut.
‘There were things that happened, there’s a reason for them to be upset. I’ve heard maybe it was out a bit, but you’ve always got an hour to be the first out there so you can rehydrate properly
‘It wasn’t out enough for it to have missed, the situation is unfortunate, I don’t think he should’ve copped as much flak as he did but at the same time they’re the rules. if you have the right people around you, I would sit there, I’ve got scales with my scales, calibrate them all week, if one says something different I’ll make sure we’re right.
‘Be sure, I’m a professional, I’ going to go there early just in case something happens.’
Volkanovski revealed he wanted the trilogy fight with Holloway to take place in Australia
He also revealed his horror at Michael Chandler’s brutal knockout of Tony Ferguson, that saw the fighter on the ground for several minutes.
‘That was scary. When I saw it, the way he went down, I didn’t know if his shadow was blood. I didn’t know if his face was completely mashed up. It was scary,’ Volkanovski said.
‘Even though I expected a devastating knockout, I couldn’t believe it.’
Volkanovski will defend the featherweight title at UFC276 on July 3 against Max Holloway in Las Vegas.