UFC featherweight contender Alexander Volkanovski notched the biggest win of his career with a unanimous decision verdict over former long-time champion Jose Aldo at UFC 237 on Saturday. He also made a bit of history by being the first man to defeat Aldo in a non-title fight in the UFC.
During his interview on Monday’s episode of the Ariel Helwani MMA Show, Volkanovski did recognize how Frankie Edgar could also be in the running for the number one contender spot, but ultimately feels he is way more deserving.
“Listen, I got a lot of respect and I love the bloke as well, Frankie. I am a big fan of him. I feel bad him taking that risk and losing,” Volkanovski said (transcript via MMA Mania).
“But like I’ve been saying all week, why do we call it a risk? If you were going to fight and lose and still get the title, then it’s not really a risk. But it is a risk and you took the risk and you’re a legend for that.
“What a champion he is for even doing that,” he added. “But at the same time, you took that risk and it didn’t end up well for you. Sorry, but I think I am next. If you want to wait around after me, then I will be happy to fight you for the title.”
For Volkanovski, granting Edgar a title shot would be more out of sympathy than merit.
“But right now, do you make me wait? Can you really pick him over me? I just took out the No. 1 contender, someone he’s never beaten,” he said. “He’s lost twice to Aldo, Aldo’s taken out other guys and he’s number one contender for a reason.
“I’m now the number one contender, it’s a no-brainer. If they do get Frankie, it’s just a sympathy thing. Is that really how business should work? You know I am all about the good guys, but sometimes we get put to the back of the line because we are too nice.”
Reports later surfaced that Edgar is indeed challenging Holloway for the title at UFC 240 on July 27th in Edmonton, Canada. The 37-year-old Edgar last fought in April 2018 in a rematch against Cub Swanson, where he won via unanimous decision.