Alexander Volkanovski was initially on board with an immediate rematch against Max Holloway but, after re-watching the fight at home, the newly-crowned UFC featherweight champion isn’t so sure the match-up makes sense.
Volkanovski, who beat Holloway via unanimous decision and snapped ‘Blessed’s’ 14-fight win streak at featherweight, says the fight wasn’t as close as he had originally thought.
Speaking to MMA Fighting on Monday, the New South Wales, Australia-based talent said an immediate rematch with Holloway wouldn’t be his first choice for his first title defense but would accept the fight if that’s what the UFC offered.
“Watching it again and I was trying to watch it as I was trying not to be biased,” Volkanovski said. “I was definitely trying to notice everything that he done. I was struggling to give him one round. I really did. There’s obviously rounds that was a lot closer than others but if you’re giving him a round, it’s purely because he was champion and you wanted him to win. That’s the way I look at it. There was some rounds that were a little bit closer but I was struggling to give him a round. I really was. But it’s not like I blew him out of the park every round but I was definitely ahead.”
“If it was a lot closer, a split decision, stuff like that, I mean my coaches are even going to say he deserves that rematch. But they watched the tape and they’re like ‘you can’t just give him a rematch after that.’ I’m the type of person, I’ll fight whoever.
“I believe I’ll get the job done anyway. Not just that, I reckon there’s money in that rematch as well and I could probably redo my contract, we’ll see. Again, we’ll just see. There’s time.”
Volkanovski is expected to be out of action until June and, during that time, the 31-year-old says the likes of Korean Zombie, Zabit Magomedsharipov and Holloway can duke it out to determine the next No. 1 contender.
“No one’s a clear No. 1 contender. I’m on the sidelines. Right now, I’ve got a broken hand. What can I do? But I know what these boys can do. They can solidify themselves as the No. 1 contender,” Volkanovski said. “Take someone out. Take out whoever you feel can put you in that No. 1 spot. Do what I done. That’s what I done leading into my title fight.
“I fought Chad Mendes to make sure I was in the top five. Then I wanted to fight [Jose] Aldo, secure that No. 1 contender’s spot. Fought him in his backyard. Not that many people would do that but I did that to give me that No. 1 spot. I just think that’s something these guys can do. It might be June or July when I’m fighting, I don’t know yet so go solidify yourself as the No. 1 contender and I’ll see you soon.”
Volkanovski is on a whopping 18-fight win streak and currently ranked #9 in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings.