UFC Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski laughed off the possibility of fighting reigning Bantamweight champion, Henry Cejudo. The Australian fighter says he would “squash” ‘Tripe C’ inside of the Octagon.
Henry Cejudo is set to fight former UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo next at UFC 250, however the Alexander Volkanovski matchup is something that is on his wish list – despite the fact that Volkanovski is a weight class above. Henry Cejudo previously held both, the UFC Bantamweight and Flyweight titles before before being stripped off the latter due to inactivity. If the matchup materialised and Cejudo was able to beat the Featherweight champion, this would make him the first UFC fighter to hold titles in 3 divisions.
However, the current 145-pound champion, who is set to defend his belt against Max Holloway at UFC 251 doesn’t see that happening any time soon:
“I think it’s cute, little Cejudo, I think it’s cute,” Volkanovski chuckled to ESPN. “Nah, I’m only kidding, I’m probably only a little bit taller than him. But I’m too smart and when it comes to power, I’ll squash him. He better be careful what he wishes for. Nothing but respect to him, he’s done some cool things. But you don’t want nothing of that [a fight against Volkanovski], I honestly don’t think he wants [anything] of that.”
Despite oozing with confidence, Volkanovski is still set to make his first title defense. To win the belt, he outpointed the former champion, Max Holloway, beating by unanimous decision in December of 2019. He is currently recovering from a hand injury sustained in that fight, but is expected to defend the title in a rematch against Holloway at UFC 251 in Perth, Australia.
Alexander Volkanovski spoke about his hand injury and the progress that he’s making before his comeback fight:
“The hand’s all right, it’s not too bad,” he said. “Obviously I’ve been training the whole time and doing a lot of strength and conditioning; a lot of left-hand [jabs] and left hooks. Now I’m starting to drill some light wrestling and light grappling, stuff like that, but I’ve just got to be careful. Obviously I can’t put too much weight on it and slam my hand down or punch too hard; I’ve worked my way around it but I’m finally able to do some more stuff. I’m getting a few sessions in a day, which is good because I hate sitting on the sidelines.”
If Volkanovski wasn’t fighting Holloway, he would only want to face a worthy opponent:
“I’m not going to just fight anyone,” he said. “As I said when I won that belt, it was earned not given. People that are ranked sixth but they think they’ve got a decent name, and they cut right in front of the line, I don’t think that’s fair. Again, do I have that pull or that choice? I don’t know, it depends on what the UFC gives me. But I want to get the guys that deserve that [title shot] just like I did. Go out there and take that No. 1 contender spot and come fight me. If they do believe that Max is the man, that he deserves that rematch … he was a great champion and probably does deserve that rematch if that’s really what he wants. I don’t even know if he wants that? But we’ll give it to him. Whoever earns it or deserves it, bring it on.”
Other possible opponents currently in the division are No. 2 ranked Featherweight, Brian Ortega, who is currently healing from a knee injury and No. 3 ranked prospect, Zabit Magomedsharipov.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on February 25th, 2020.