Alexander Volkanovski has revealed his plans to not only become a UFC ‘champ champ’, but defend two titles simultaneously, stressing: “I’m serious about this … it can be done”.
Boasting an undefeated UFC career stretching six years and 11 fights, Volkanovski faces Hawaiian great Max Holloway in a hyped trilogy bout at UFC 276 this Sunday.
Should Australia’s No. 1 fighter again defend his featherweight strap, he then wants to move up for a shot at reigning lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.
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Yet more than simply claiming two titles, Australia’s UFC champ is convinced he can then reign over both the featherweight and lightweight divisions — staying around the same weight no matter where he fights.
Speaking with The Daily Telegraph from Las Vegas, where he is now finalising preparations, Volkanovski suggested he would use the Holloway showdown to prove his intentions of a two-division reign to UFC boss Dana White.
“I want to move up and hold both belts,” Volkanovski stressed. “I want to be champion of both divisions.
“And I’m serious about this.
“I know it can be done.
“Fighters obviously like the idea of being a double champ, but I want to hold both belts and stay active while doing it.
“There’s plenty of big fights to make.
“And if there is nothing doing at featherweight, I can let the division sort it out while I defend the other belt.
“Or vice versa.
“I can alternate between both.”
While Volkanovski will start favourite against Holloway, the champ is under no illusion about the task that is earning consecutive wins over one of the greatest UFC featherweights ever, and then Oliveira — who is himself on a tear of 10 straight wins.
Should the Australian triumph however, he will join an elite group of ‘champ champs’ that includes Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo.
Asked how he would manage his weight in a two-division reign, the Wollongong fighter continued: “I won’t put on weight for the move up.
“I’m comfortable where I am at.
“I have to cut a little bit for featherweight anyway. So the cut for lightweight just won’t be as big.”
Volkanovski is also convinced he can get White on board with his plan to defend two belts simultaneously given the UFC boss has already declared, should he beat Holloway, he will then get a shot at the UFC lightweight title.
“Dana’s usually the hardest one to get the nod from,” the 33-year-old said.
“But he’s already saying I can move up, and I haven’t even fought Max yet.
“So imagine after I really put it on this guy (Holloway).
“Obviously I have a job to do – and my focus is on Max — but given what I plan on doing, yeah, I knew Dana was always going to say ‘yeah he can do whatever he wants’.
“But if he’s given me the green light to move up already … I think alternating between two divisions would be good.”
Volkanovski also says that, if he holds two belts, there would definitely be the opportunity for a showdown with Irish megastar McGregor.
While the Aussie expects McGregor to return at welterweight, or a catchweight, he suggested there was definitely a chance of the pair squaring off next year.
“If the timing works and Conor wants it, all right,” said the fighter who will headline Sunday’s stacked card with close mate and UFC middleweight king Israel Adesanya. “I think he could definitely lose the weight easily enough.
“But there are options, right?
“I want exciting challenges.
“Make as much money as I can and leave a legacy.”