Alexander Volkanovski is now past Max Holloway after defeating him on two successive occasions. The second bout against Holloway saw Alexander Volkanovski secure a controversial split decision victory - with many people arguing that the decision should have favored The Blessed One.
Alexander Volkanoski is set to face Brian Ortega in his second title defense in 2021, stating that he was finally excited that the Featherweight division had the direction to move forward.
Marching ahead is exactly what Alexander Volkanovski intends to do as the Featherweight Champion. Speaking to ESPN, the Australian stated that he wants to clear out the Featherweight division and "squeeze in" a Lightweight fight as well.
“I want to be the best fighter there is, and that is a goal of mine and to do so I want to move up and fight [at lightweight] as well,” Volkanovski said. “But again, I’ve got a division that I want to take out, I want to be the best the featherweights have seen, so I want a couple of defenses here. But I definitely want to squeeze in a lightweight fight as well.”
Alexander Volkanovski responded to critics in advance, and stated that he knows how he would do against fighters at Lightweight and even Welterweight:
“People will say that I’m all hype or I got lucky because they don’t understand the skill; so of course you’re going to get people that will say I can’t handle myself in lightweight,” Volkanovski continued. “But I don’t worry about them, because people that know the game, especially my opponents, they know where my level is, and I’ve trained with guys much bigger than me and I still do and I always have. So I know how I’d do against some of the best lightweights in the world anyway, even the best welterweights.”
Will Alexander Volkanovski be well-suited to the 155-pound division?
A move up to Lightweight is tricky for a few reasons. Firstly, the 155-pound division is the most talent-stacked weight class in UFC history. Secondly, looking at Max Holloway's Lightweight title fight in 2019, it's clear that there are certain physical requirements to adapt to a move up in weight classes.
With that said, Alexander Volkanovski walked around like a Heavyweight during his Rugby days. He isn't the tallest fighter, but he has shown the ability to adapt mid-fight on numerous occasions.