Alexander Volkanovski hasn’t reached featherweight GOAT status yet, but, as he said ahead of UFC 273, he’s getting there.
The reigning UFC featherweight champion is riding an incredible 20-fight win streak, with the last 10 of those coming in the UFC octagon. He has also defended the 145-pound title twice since he defeated Max Holloway to win the belt in December 2019.
Now the affable Aussie is looking to write his name in MMA history as the greatest featherweight ever but, as he told reporters at UFC 273 media day, he’s not quite there yet.
“I believe I’ve still got more work to do,” he said.
“I give Aldo the respect. To be champion for as long as he was is incredible.
“No matter – the opposition that I’m facing with guys like himself and Max, I think I’m fighting absolute killers. It’s pretty clear. But at the same time, to be champion that long, there’s going to be days you don’t show up, injuries, bad weight cuts – we’ve all done it.
“It’s a nightmare to not be on, on a day you’ve got to defend your belt. And for him to be able to be champion for so long, that’s saying something.”
Volkanovki’s next defence comes on Saturday against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. It’s a matchup Volkanovski said is “gonna be a banger” due to their respective fighting styles, and he’s confident that he’ll add the South Korean to his list of victims.
“I’m going to make him pay, you know? You come at me and try and find my chin and walk forward to me, I’m going to make you pay. I’m gonna make you miss and I’m going to be capitalising on every opening that he gives me. So I’m looking forward to going out there to put on a show and to show everyone now where I’m at right now.”
And if Volkanovski adds another title defence to his tally, he said he won’t be too far away from GOAT status at 145 pounds.
“Do I think I need that many defences? No, I don’t,” he said.
“Do I think I’m there right now? No, I’m not going to claim that yet. I’m going to go ahead and do my thing. If people want to claim it for me, all good. But I’ve still got some work to do.
“I want to keep taking these guys out, you know what I mean?
“I’ve got a division to hold, I will do that. Then we’re going to talk about other divisions and all that. Yeah, we’ll do that.
“But right now, I want to defend this baby a few times this year. I want three fights this year and again, it’s going to be a big massive year for me and it starts Saturday night. It starts now.”