The reigning 145-pound UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski wants to cement his name as “The Greatest Featherweight of All Time”. The Australian MMA fighter claimed the belt against former champion Max Holloway in December 2019. The pair is expected to square off in the rematch at the scheduled for June 7 UFC 251 pay-per-view fight card at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.
“Obviously that’s what UFC wants, Dana White’s saying that’s what he wants, and I think I want it,” Alexander Volkanovski told TMZ Sports (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “I want that fight, because there’s no clear No. 1 contenders, and I just think that he’s a great champion. For me, the biggest fight in my career right now to solidify myself as the best featherweight of all-time, and one of the greatest of all-time. I go and take out Max twice in [his] prime, people are gonna give me that respect I deserve.”
Although the main event bout for UFC 251 is yet to be officially announced, Volkanovski-Holloway 2 is likely to headline the show.
“I want to fight on home soil in Perth,” said Volkanovski. “I don’t want to wait around until there’s a clear number one. I think Max does deserve it, he was a great champion. The UFC want it, Australian fans will want it, and I think everyone else will want that so I reckon we’ll make it happen.
“I don’t want to sit on the sidelines too long, and I want to defend my belt in Australia. That Perth card is June 6 [June 7 AEDT]. We’re gonna make it happen, I reckon.”
When asked about his message to “Blessed”, Volkanovski said “Nothing but respect [to Max]”.
“You’re the man and you’re well-loved because of that. I feel I’m the same way. We’re both respectful. But, you really want this fight? I just done it five rounds and I guarantee you it ain’t gonna change. I’m either finishing it or I’m winning the exact same way. I know you’re durable, but I reckon I can put you away.”
UFC 251 co-main event is scheduled to feature Velentina Shevchenko in defense of her flyweight title against Joanne Calderwood.