UFC champ Alexander Volkanovski says there’s ‘more work to do’ before taking featherweight GOAT status

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Alexander Volkanovski is humble enough to admit he doesn’t have the resume to be called the greatest featherweight of all time.

However, Volkanovski (23-1 MMA, 10-0 UFC) has every intention of changing that narrative as he moves forward with his career, and Saturday’s title defense against Chan Sung Jung (17-6 MMA, 7-3 UFC) in the UFC 273 main event is a key piece of the puzzle to enhancing his stature.

Going into the matchup, which takes place at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+, Volkanovski is riding a 20-fight winning streak that includes two wins over Max Holloway, a win over Jose Aldo, a win over Chad Mendes, and more. His track record is strong, but he can admit there are elements to his tenure that don’t align with some of the previous title holders at 145 pounds.

If Volkanovski wants GOAT status for himself, he needs to continue on his current trajectory.

“I believe I’ve still got more work to do,” Volkanovski told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s UFC 273 media day. “I give Aldo the respect. To be champion for as long as he was is incredible. No matter – the opposition that I’m facing with guys like himself and Max, I think I’m fighting absolute killers. It’s pretty clear. But at the same time, to be champion that long, there’s going to be days you don’t show up, injuries, bad weight cuts – we’ve all done it. It’s a nightmare to not be on a day you’ve got to defend your belt. And for him to be for so long, it’s saying something.”

Volkanovski said he doesn’t need to match Aldo’s run in terms of longevity or overall defenses. It’s going to come down to the strength of competition and the manner of victory. If he can add more defenses to his record and accomplish them in style, he knows he’ll get there eventually.

“Do I think I need that many defenses? No, I don’t,” Volkanovski said. “Do I think I’m there right now? No, I’m not going to claim that yet. I’m going to go ahead and do my thing. If people want to claim it for me, all good. But I’ve still got some work to do.”

To accomplish his goals, Volkanovski said he knows his UFC 273 fight with “The Korean Zombie” is a critical one. He can’t stumble in this situation, and he has every intention of putting together a dominant showcase.

“This is a legacy fight,” Volkanovski said. “I’ve taken out a lot of the legends, and I want to keep taking out legends. He’s definitely one of them. He’s earned this spot. He definitely has.”

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Author: Mike Bohn
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