#2 Best: Volkanovski stakes his claim
Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor, and Frankie Edgar. That trio of former UFC champions have plenty in common, but one of the threads that joins them is the fact that before last night, they were the only fighters to have wins over perennial Featherweight contender Chad Mendes. After last night, Alexander Volkanovski can join that exclusive list.
Outside of Amanda Nunes’ knockout of Cris Cyborg, Volkanovski’s big finish of Mendes was probably the highlight of the show to me. ‘Alexander The Great’ did it the hard way too, as he was taken down on a handful of occasions and took a bunch of hard shots, including suffering a knockdown in the second round. But he stayed cool under fire, kept pressuring Mendes back, landing his jab and working the body, and eventually it paid off with a big KO at the end of the 2nd.
The Australian prospect is clearly a contender for the Featherweight title now, and given champ Max Holloway has already beaten Aldo and Brian Ortega, you could argue that only Edgar and perhaps Renato Moicano are in front of him for a title shot. Given that Moicano and Aldo are due to face off in February, there could be an argument for giving Volkanovski the next title shot outright. His promo post-fight certainly made it sound interesting.
It’s always nice to see a fighter pick up the biggest win of their career, and this was certainly it for ‘Alexander The Great’ – in one of the best PPV openers of 2018, too.