UFC: Alex Volkanovski Talks 2021 Plans And Henry Cejudo’s Antics
After fighting only once in 2020, UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski plans to stay active in 2021.
Volkanovski won the featherweight belt after beating Max Holloway at UFC 245, and made his first successful title defence against the same opponent at UFC 251. His next fight is expected to take place against Brian Ortega, who is coming off an impressive unanimous decision win over ‘The Korean Zombie’ at UFC Fight Island 6.
Talks Have Slowed Down
In an interview last month, UFC president Dana White revealed that a title fight between Volkanovski and Ortega was in the works, but the Australian has told SCMP MMA‘s John Hyon Ko that talks have slowed down.
“Conversations with the UFC have sort of slowed down obviously over holiday break,” Volkanovski said. “They did throw a date at us. Which we said we really want that fight, we definitely want it. Let’s just look at this date here, on this card. That was going to work.
“With everything that has happened on this side of the world, especially we are having more cases here, we’re starting to get lockdowns close to where we are. And obviously New Zealand I do my camps there, we just need a little bit of a notice.”
With plans to stay active this year, the reigning featherweight champion said he’d prefer to return in March, as he wants enough time to prepare and work around the coronavirus protocols in Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re working on visas and things like that to get me over to New Zealand as we speak,” Volkanovski revealed. “We’re doing that right now so when the UFC gives us a date we head over there. There’s a lot of things you need to get through. So I just need to know about the fight well in advance so I can do my two-week quarantine and then get into camp.
“Obviously  been crazy, but 2021 hopefully we can change that. The vaccines or whatever it is can make it. I want three fights. March date is looking good. We haven’t heard nothing but March, get me in there.”
Henry Cejudo’s Callouts
Former UFC flyweight and bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo is officially retired from MMA, but that hasn’t stopped him from consistently calling out the likes of the reigning flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo, and Volkanovski who believes ‘Triple C’ is just chasing big pay days.
“Yeah, I do [think Cejudo will return]. The fact that you could see he’s trying to get in there,” Volkanovski said. “He’s been calling me out and he’s been relentless with it. He’s slowed down a little bit now.
“But I really do think there are fights that will bring him back. Again, it’s gotta be the right fight, the right money. But is the UFC willing to give him that money? He’s chasing that pay cheque but is the UFC gonna give him that? If they do, then he’ll be back.”
‘Cringe Ass Henry’
Last month, Cejudo released a rap song titled ‘Cringe Ass Henry’, in which he poked fun at several fighters, including Volkanovski who could see the funny side.
“I think it’s funny, good on him,” Volkanovski expressed. “He’s doing what he can. He’s staying busy on social media, I tell you that. He’s supposedly retired so he’s not busy in the Octagon, but he’s busy on Twitter, he’s busy on Instagram. So fair play to him. It was fun. I always wanted to be in a song so I’m happy with that, I’ll take that for now.”
Do you think Alex Volkanovski will still be the UFC featherweight champion at the end of 2021?