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Morning Report: Alexander Volkanovski calls it ‘a dream’ to fight Conor McGregor, even at welterweight

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Alexander Volkanovski
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It’s been some time since we saw Conor McGregor compete south of 155 pounds, and it’s safe to assume we’ll never see it again. However, that won’t stop current UFC featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski from fantasizing about the possible matchup — no matter the weight class.

“The Notorious” McGregor claimed the UFC featherweight title with an absurd 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo in December 2015 before he was eventually stripped after moving up to lightweight. Aldo reclaimed the vacant crown a year later but eventually fell to Max Holloway who defended three times until running into Volkanovski.

To earn his shot at Holloway, Volkanovski became the first and only man to defeat Aldo in a non-title featherweight affair. Now two title defenses deep into his reign as champion, the Australian has “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung to worry about next at UFC 273 on April 9. But that McGregor matchup would undeniably be a dream come true down the line.

“Obviously, Conor is always gonna get his name out there,” Volkanovski told MMA News’ James Lynch. “You gotta remember, he was a featherweight, he was a champion of my division. So I’ve taken out the featherweight champs. That’s the only one left, isn’t it? Me, Aldo, Max, and Conor. So it makes a lot of sense. Obviously, it would be a dream and then I’ve taken out all the other champs in my division so that would be incredible. Obviously, you talk about the payday and all that — the circus around it would be great. But at the same time, talking about legacy, he’s undefeated at featherweight, too. That would mean something. I don’t think he’s making featherweight too soon [though].

“If we fight, you do it at any weight. I’d do that at welterweight if I had to, whatever. But at the same time, we’ll see. I’ll just worry about Zombie cause Zombie’s in front of me and we’ll see.”

For the 33-year-old Volkanovski, competing at 170 pounds clearly would be no issue at this stage in his life. Keep in mind that Volkanovski used to weigh over 200 pounds during his aforementioned days as a rugby player — not that Joe Rogan will ever let us forget such a fact.

Simply for activity purposes, the featherweight champion has already expressed being open to going up to lightweight for whatever challenges may await. Though it has indeed become a goal for Volkanovski to achieve that ever-elusive double champ status, don’t expect him to leave the ‘45ers hanging if that chance ever becomes a reality.

“I’m planning on staying at featherweight even if I move up, I want to float in both,” he said. “I’m not saying I want to just move to lightweight and stay at lightweight. When people ever ask me if I think of a move to lightweight, it is double champ status, while I still got both belts. The role of lightweight champ and featherweight champ, that’s my vision. Not just fighting in lightweight. Cause I make featherweight reasonably easy so there’s no reason for me to have to move up.”


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