“He’s next, it’s that simple” - Alexander Volkanovski says Aljamain Sterling needs this one performance to earn 145-pound title shot
Alexander Volkanovski sees the blueprint that Aljamain Sterling seems to be laying out for his future.
Speaking on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the UFC featherweight champion was asked about the former titleholder at 135 pounds moving up, and Volk seemed complimentary of Sterling overall.
When asked by Helwani if he thinks Sterling can have success at '45, Volkanovski said:
"I mean look, he's a good fighter. I can see what he's doing. He knows; he's like, alright, I'm not gonna get a title fight any time soon. Look he takes out Max, he's next. It's that simple and he knows that. Good on him, he's game. He knows that the clear path to that title, I'm not getting that now."
"I lost my title. There's no way I'm getting on for champ-champ right now. But if I fight, I can be one fight away from a title if I take out Max. I'm sure he knows it's a tough fight. But he just looks at it, that's how I get to the title. Good on him. You got to respect that."
Check out the clip of Volkanovski discussing Sterling at featherweight below
Alexander Volkanovski and his next title defense
While asked about a potential new entrant into the weight category, Volkanovski already has his next assignment lined up for featherweight. He will next defend his 145-pound crown against Ilia Topuria at UFC 298.
This main event pay-per-view bout goes down on February 17th, with the pound-for-pound ranked champion looking to put the first-ever blemish on the professional MMA record of the challenger.
Alexander Volkanovski is spotless as a featherweight competitor but is aiming to rebound from a failed title bid at 155 pounds. Volk was finished via head kick and follow-up ground and pound punches against UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev in October.
Topuria contends for the gold on the heels of besting Josh Emmett by way of a unanimous decision at UFC on ABC 5 in June.