It wouldn't make sense to fight Brian Ortega again - Alexander Volkanovski favoring Yair Rodriguez to be the next No.1 contender 

Alexander Volkanovski wants Yair Rodriguez over Brian Ortega [Photo credit: SK MMA on YouTube]
Alexander Volkanovski wants Yair Rodriguez over Brian Ortega [Photo credit: SK MMA on YouTube]
Rafael Bandayrel

If Alexander Volkanovski can have his way, he'd rather face Yair Rodriguez than fight Brian Ortega in a rematch.

Volkanovski is gearing up for a historic trilogy bout against Max Holloway at UFC 276. If he can get past his rival for the third time, his next title defense will likely be against the winner of the Ortega vs. Rodriguez matchup.

During UFC 276 Media Day, Volkanovski was asked by James Lynch of Sportskeeda MMA if he had a preferred opponent in mind. According to the UFC featherweight champion:

"I like [Brian] Ortega, but obviously, I want No.1 contender guys. I've already fought Ortega so I thought it wouldn't make sense if he wins. I'm not sure, I'd have to talk to my team and the UFC. If he was to win that, if that still makes sense, I'd be happy with that. But I haven't faced Yair [Rodriguez] yet, so if he goes out and wins I feel like that would be a bigger fight. So, you know, again it doesn't matter who I like right now, I want these big fights. I think Yair winning would be better just so it's a new guy, a new blood."

Watch Alexander Volkanovski's full press conference interview below or check out more UFC 276 interviews on the Sportskeeda YouTube page.


Volkanovski convincingly defended the title against Ortega in the main event of UFC 266. Although it was a dominant performance for the champ, 'T- City' gave him a scare with two close submission attempts.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, lost to Hollway in his last fight. However, 'El Pantera' gave the former champion a run for his money during their five-round war.

Alexander Volkanovski says Max Holloway trilogy strictly about legacy

As per Alexander Volkanovski, accepting the trilogy bout with Max Holloway had nothing to do with silencing his doubters.

'The Great' revealed that, for him, it's all about bolstering his legacy. During a joint press conference with Israel Adesanya and Kai Kara-France, the No.2-ranked UFC pound-for-pound fighter said:

"I don’t care. I don’t care about that now. That’s not why I took this fight. It wasn’t just to shut them guys up. I did originally want this trilogy to shut people up, but right now, it’s not about that. This fight is gonna be a legacy fight for me, and there’s gonna be haters no matter what you do."

Watch the full interview below:


Volkanovski will fight Holloway for the third time in the co-main event of UFC 276 on Saturday. Despite being down two wins to none, 'Blessed' earned another title shot after impressive victories over Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez.

With that being the case, though, Saturday night could be Holloway's last chance to reclaim the 145-pound division title.

Edited by David Andrew


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