Alexander Volkanovski is already envisioning a scenario where he might face Conor McGregor for the lightweight belt.
There is a huge lightweight title bout coming up this weekend when champion Islam Makhachev takes on featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. There has been a lot said about both of these men leading up to this fight and the hype behind the number one pound-for-pound fighter facing the number two is almost too much to handle. There is a lot resting on this fight but now with the rest of the lightweight division heating up there could be even more hanging in the balance.
The UFC announced that the next season of The Ultimate Fighter will be coached by Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler. These two are some of the best in the 155-pound divisions and although the fight between the two of them at the end of the season will be held in the welterweight division it could still provide title aspirations for each.
Alexander Volkanovski thinks Conor McGregor could earn a title shot with a win over Chandler
Volkanovski has expressed his desire to return to the featherweight division following UFC 284 but if he wins, he will do so with the lightweight strap in tow. If this is the case, he will have to defend that eventually as well. He sees a scenario where that first defense could be against McGregor if he is victorious in his return.
“Obviously, it’s always good to have Conor coming back to the sport,” he said in a pre-fight interview. “He brings a lot of eyes. That will be a fun fight as well. I think it’s clever for both of them. Clever for Conor because he can go and fight, they’re both powerful dudes, obviously, it’s a winnable fight because they’re just going to go for it. It’s going to be entertaining. That just puts Conor right back in the conversation for the belt and all that type of stuff. For people to say he wouldn’t deserve it and there’s no way he’s going to do that, you’re pretty crazy, right? It’s Conor McGregor, and if he takes out someone like Chandler, you know his name is going to be mentioned. You know people are going to be talking about him.”
McGregor has been absent from the UFC for almost two years. He suffered an injury to his leg that took time to heal. He also removed himself from the USADA testing pool which will require six months of reentry. Many feel that all of this excluded McGregor from getting a title shot, but Volkanovski doesn’t see it this way.
“It’s interesting, it’s good to look at because I plan on taking that lightweight belt and I’m looking at seeing what’s happening in the division. There’s a lot of potential matchups after this one, but obviously, first I’ve got to worry about what’s in front of me,” he said.
Naturally, Volkanovski will welcome a title shot against McGregor. He is the biggest star in the UFC and any fight against him comes with big money. He always pulls the biggest numbers in his PPV events and a win or a loss against McGregor is a win in the bank account.