Alexander Volkanovski not interested in immediate rematch with Max Holloway, possibly reveals UFC return period in 2020
Alexander Volkanovski is now the man calling the shots in the Featherweight division. He earned the Featherweight Championship after being the clear-cut #1 contender in the 145-pound division and then defeating Max Holloway convincingly by unanimous decision at UFC 245.
Holloway thought that he had done enough but the consensus seemed to be that the Australian outdid him in every aspect and won the title fair and square. Dana White mentioned after the PPV that he was interested in booking a rematch in Australia later in 2020.
Confirming that his hand is broken, Volkanovski likely won't defend the title until the midway point this year. He spoke to Fight News Australia, saying:
"There's no clear #1 contender right now. Even Max Holloway. I believe I won convincingly. A lot of people believe that. If he really wants that rematch while I'm on the sidelines, go take out someone - beat the #1 contender. So now's the time. I was the one who fought Aldo in his home country of Brazil. Not many people want to do that."
"I knew that was what was going to get me to the #1 contender [spot], so what did I do? I went there and got it done. Even when I was in Canada - a 37-hour trip. Barely could move after that, the weight cut was terrible, but I had to make sure that no one else was going to take my spot."
He mentioned that he didn't want anyone to take his spot and let the opportunity slip away. He brought up the names of Zabit Magomedsharipov and the "Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung and said that if they want to fight it out for the #1 contender spot, then he'll see one of the two men mid-year.
He insisted that he wants to fight the Korean Zombie but doesn't believe that a 2-fight win streak is enough. He concluded, saying:
“Go earn that spot, none of you are the clear number one contender right now, you are all one fight away!”
In all likeliness, there's going to be something brewing between Max Holloway, the Korean Zombie, Zabit Magomedsharipov, and Yair Rodriguez. The former three appear to be the next in line and the UFC will match them up to determine Volkanovski's next contender.
However, there's a chance that if Holloway waits it out, he'll get the immediate rematch.