Undefeated in the UFC and featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski has been haunting the division and boasts a winning streak over three of the greatest 145 of all time: Max Holloway, José Aldo and Chad Mendes. Despite all the obstacles that the pandemic imposes, Volkanovski has been preparing and will defend his belt on the infamous Fight Island.
In the last few days, I had chat with the champion on some interesting topics. Check out the full interview below.
Kauê: In the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic has greatly altered the way people live, including athletes. How has your routine and training been during this period?
Volkanovski: As I always say, I adapt. I have to adapt. There are some crazy times, unfortunate times – but it wasn’t an excuse for me to sit back and do nothing. There has still been plenty I could do. Building as much strength as I can, explosiveness and still working on my fitness. Trying to stay positive and keep the brain moving and not try to overthink things and do what I love doing – which is training.
Kauê: Your first four fights in the UFC were in Oceania. Is it a place that you feel most comfortable to fight? In the future, do you have a desire to defend your title there?
Volkanovski: I definitely have a desire to fight and defend my belt in Australia. Nothing would beat that. When it comes to comfortable, I am not more comfortable anywhere – wherever I go, fight week is fight week no matter where I am – but fighting for my fans and Australian supporters on home soil would mean a lot, so that is something I definitely need to do.
Kauê: In your last two fights, you defeated two of the greatest featherweights in MMA history. Do you believe that with a few more victories you will, in fact, become the greatest fighter in the history of the featherweight division? Is that a personal goal for you?
Volkanovski: Yes, I guess you could say it is a goal. I am not out here to fight for legacies and what not, but I need to win and I need to be successful and I need people to remember me so I can look after my family for the rest of my life, and to do so being the greatest featherweight of all time would definitely set me up for life – so that is a goal. It is not too far. Taking the two greatest fighters out back-to-back, or you could even say three of the greatest fighters back-to-back and then if the Max rematch happens, to take him out twice, that puts me right up there. A couple more title defences and my name will definitely be in GOAT talks.
Kauê: In recent years, division changes have become very common. Are you interested in moving up in the future and competing for the lightweight belt?
Volkanovski: It is definitely another option, 100%. I am not chasing other divisions right now, but I will defend my belt in my division, but if a fight comes to me that fits in the schedule, as I like to stay active anyway – I could definitely squeeze in a lightweight title fight. I am pretty comfortable in that division, I have fought anywhere from featherweight all the way up to middleweight, and I am still undefeated at lightweight as well.
Kauê: Currently, the featherweight has several contenders in good hype, such as Zabit, Korean Zombie, in addition to former champion Holloway and former challenger Ortega. Who do you think is most deserving of a title shot at the moment (or who would you like to face)?
Volkanovski: At the moment. That is key point to this question. At the moment I believe Max Holloway deserves a rematch. There are a lot of real contenders, but there is no real number 1 contender. The biggest fight and the one that makes the most sense right now is Max. A lot of people are going to doubt me and think I can’t get the job done again – I am going to prove them wrong and prove I am the best featherweight in the world right now.
Kauê: Your name and nickname mentions to Alexandre Magno, aka Alexander the Great, one of the greatest conquerors in human history. Do you have a special inspiration on him?
Volkanovski: That comes back to my heritage My mother is Greek and my dad is Macedonian, and from history you will find that Alexander the Great had a Macedonian father and a Greek mother, so that is why I went with that name, it makes sense. He is a conqueror and I have conquered the UFC featherweight division and I am going to stay conquering it for a long time.
Kauê: Have you been planning your return to MMA? Do you have a date in mind?
Volkanovski: We want to fight soon. This Fight Island looks like it is going to happen and I want in! Give me a fight, I am ready. I will put the belt on the line, I just want to get out there and do my thing.