Skip to main content

It had been almost five years since he fought in a non-title bout, and Alexander Volkanovski doesn’t intend on breaking that streak anytime soon.

The Australian now-former UFC featherweight champion finds himself in the unusual position of having been defeated in three of the past four title bouts in which he has participated (Islam Makhachev x2, Ilia Topuria) but despite these setbacks, the 35-year-old’s desire to compete at the very top of the sport has not been dulled.

Last month’s second-round knockout at the hands of Topuria in Anaheim has convinced Volkanovski to, as he puts it, “be clever” in training for a couple of months — but soon after that, the Australian says that he is coming for gold.

“I’m gonna let the head rest so the training’s gonna be clever, especially for a couple of months,” Volkanovski said on his YouTube channel, as noted by MMA Fighting. “It’s good. That’s what I’ve been able to do this week. I’ve felt great.

“Depending on what Ilia does, if he was to want to be very active and fight soon, which would mean my rematch would be rushed, alright, I’m happy to be like, ‘If you’re gonna be that active, I’m gonna have to wait.’ I know my next fight is definitely gonna be for the title and the rematch but if he was to go somewhere else because he’d want to be active, which I would be more than okay with.

“Obviously, I’m not gonna do that because of my head, you want to take that serious, but my next fight will definitely 100 percent be the rematch,” he concluded.”

Topuria, the latest UFC champion at 145-pounds, has not yet set a clear path for his next move. He has floated the idea of testing himself against Makhachev up in the lightweight fold in pursuit of two-division champion status, while also somewhat distancing himself from an immediate rematch with Volkanovski or taking on Max Holloway.

But whatever Topuria’s next move ends up being, Volkanovski says that his return to the summit of the featherweight division is an inevitability.

“Mark my words, I am getting that belt back,” he said. “I’m gonna do everything in my power. I’m gonna have some rest, but when I do decide to get back in there or when we do have a date, I’m gonna do everything in my power to make sure I get that belt back here to me and my family. I’ve always done it for my family, supporters, Australia and whatnot. It ain’t just gonna be about that. I’m doing that for me. I don’t think I’ve ever really done it for myself.”