UFC featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski has become the latest man to seek a lucrative showdown with notorious Irishman Conor McGregor, with the Aussie calling out his rival for a contest on the fabled ‘Fight Island’.
Volkanovski, who was crowned featherweight champ in December after unseating longtime ruler Max Holloway, said he would relish the prospect of a meeting with McGregor at the as-yet unnamed island location where UFC boss Dana White says he will hold a series of events in June and July.
“Who wouldn’t take that fight [against McGregor]?” Volkanovski told Australia’s 7 News.
“You would be an absolute fool not to take that fight with McGregor. His name is always going to be mentioned in the featherweight rankings and GOAT talks.”
Despite not having a UFC title to his name for the past two years, former two-weight champ McGregor remains the promotion’s biggest cash draw.
The Irishman, 31, made an explosive return to the octagon in January after more than a year out, dismantling Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone just 40 seconds into their welterweight bout.
That comeback has unsurprisingly triggered substantial speculation over where McGregor’s attentions will be turned next.
The Dubliner recently ‘accepted’ a showdown with 45-year-old Brazilian legend Anderson Silva – a man he listed as the ‘GOAT’ of MMA in his personal rankings.
However, that fight is unlikely to be sanctioned by UFC boss Dana White, who has urged McGregor to instead focus on the lightweight ranks ruled over by Russian nemesis Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Meanwhile, welterweight king Kamaru Usman has accused McGregor of ducking a showdown with him – although again, that is a fight unlikely to get White’s blessing.
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Volkanovski, who is on an 18-fight win streak and has lost just once in 22 pro MMA contests, said he could be the next man to face ‘The Notorious’ – asserting that he would even be willing to step up a class to meet McGregor at 155lbs.
“For me, it’s more than just a money fight. It’s more about taking that win away from his name being in the greatest featherweight of all time talk, that would mean a lot to me,” said the 31-year-old Aussie.
“If I have to move up just to prove that he isn’t the featherweight GOAT, I would do so.”
Volkanovski has returned to training after undergoing hand surgery following his win over Holloway and has been cleared to fight for what would be the first defense of his featherweight belt.
However, rather than waiting around for a potential rematch with Holloway or other contenders at 145lbs, ‘Alexander The Great’ said he could jump at the first opportunity on Fight Island.
“If you ask me, I truly do believe [Fight Island] is going to happen,” he said.
“International fighters like myself need a place to fight and there is going to be a lot of trouble getting people into the [US].
“If they want to do this island, I am all for it. We’re ready... I’m not waiting around.
“I’ve called them all out, so who’s available?”