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UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski would have been more than happy to fight Henry Cejudo but he says that it was never presented to him as a realistic opporthnity.

Cejudo, the former flyweight and bantamweight champion, retired following a May 2020 bantamweight title defence against Dominick Cruz but has since stoked rumours of a return to the cage, citing the potential of being the UFC’s first-ever three division champion as his motivation.

Speculation has been stoked by Cejudo’s management team but, so far at least, nothing has materialised — and speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour recently, the Australian champion said now would have been the time to do it but he didn’t hear a peep from UFC matchmakers.

I don’t even mind the guy,” Volkanovski admitted of Cejudo. “Obviously, we have a bit of fun and he’s always trying to troll me and get under my skin and make that fight happen.

“Again, I get people who are going to say I’m running and whatnot. The UFC never brought up his name, ever. And it was never mentioned to me, it was never even close to an option. How am I going to take it seriously if the UFC doesn’t take it seriously? And I don’t even know if Henry is really taking it serious.

“But man, I like the guy. He’s got great skills. You’ve you’ve done great things in other divisions. And you retired, so it just doesn’t make sense.

“If there was ever a time that I was going to do it, it probably would be now,” Volkanovski continued. “But again, the UFC weren’t going to bring it up. They’re thinking that, what’s the point? You don’t deserve it. And then what if you do somehow get it done — you’re just going to retire? Even though I heard Henry say, ‘Oh, if I do that, I’ll stay,’ I don’t think they believe that. But you wouldn’t have had to worry about that anyway.”

Instead, Volkanovski was drafted into a third fight with featherweight standout Max Holloway but that was changed to a defence against the ‘Korean Zombie’, Chan Sung Jung, after Holloway was forced to withdraw through injury.

Volkanovski meets Jung in the UFC 273 main event in early April.