Volkanovski Not Done Chasing Lightweight Gold

Alexander Volkanvoski may be down 0-2 to current Ultimate fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev, but “The Great” is far from done trying to capture gold at 155 pounds.

During a recent press conference, UFC’s Featherweight champion talked about his goals at 155 pounds. Though he is not overlooking his upcoming opponent, Ilia Topuria — who he is scheduled to fight at UFC 298 on Feb. 17, 2024 — Volkanovski was broached with the question regarding his future goals.

And become a champion in two divisions is still at the top of the list.

“Definitely not (done at 155 pounds),” Volkanovski said via MMA Junkie (h/t MacLife). “Obviously straight after – I’m a realist. I’m not expecting a rematch straight away. Everyone’s going to see that. They’re going to be like ‘the age thing’ and all that. There’s going to be some people doubting. ‘Is his time done?’ – which is hyping up this fight, so I’m all good with it.

“But, everybody’s going to be reminded, and everybody is going to be switching a full 180 (degrees) saying there’s nothing left for me at 145, and they want me to go take that lightweight belt. That’s what I plan on doing. I’m going to go out there take care of Ilia and we’ll see what’s next, but lightweight definitely in the near future.”

Volkanovski’s lone two losses inside the Octagon have come against Makhachev and is still a perfect 13-0 at 145 pounds, which is why many feel he’s cleaned out the division. But there are still several fighters he has yet to face, including Topuria, who is undefeated at 14-0, 6-0 UFC.

Plus, there is also rising contender Movsar Evloev, who currently sits at No. 5 and is also undefeated at 18-0, 8-0 UFC. While Volkanovski has no issues facing Evloev should he get through Topuria, he wants it to be clear that he’s earned the right to fight for the title.

“I like having a clear guy, which is Topuria right now – which is unreal,” Volkanovski said. “But as I said earlier, lightweights are obviously there, so that’s probably something that I’ll look to because I’ll want to fight a few times this year, as well. Who’s next? I don’t know.

“Obviously you’ve got guys like Movsar (Evloev), who’s undefeated and all that. But it just needs to be clear. There’s guys who won’t be too far off, but time will tell who’s there. But while we’re figuring that out, we’ll have some fun fights at lightweight, maybe.”

Anyone think Volkanovski has what it takes to secure gold at 155 pounds? Or is it nothing but a pipe dream as long as Makhachev sits at the top?

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